Merseycare Julie Ann (MCJA)
“For example, in December we circulate a memo to all staff so that they are all aware of the policy regarding Christmas gifts. We simply copy the QCS policy from the system and circulate it as part of a memo to all staff.”
Helping Merseycare Julie Ann adapt to the changing compliance needs of providing domiciliary care
Merseycare Julie Ann (MCJA) is a Liverpool based company providing home care and support services to adults in Liverpool and St Helens. Senior management are dedicated to the social care profession and bring a wealth of experience that stretches back 25 years.
The organisation aims to provide high quality, reliable domiciliary services that meet the needs of individuals and are effective in enabling service users to remain in their own home.
In Liverpool, MCJA also manages the day-to-day running of a 58 unit extra care housing scheme called Lathom Court.
The company is an approved provider to both Liverpool City and St Helens councils as well as providing care on a private basis. From two sites around 300 staff, of which 90% are carers, currently provide up to 10,000 hours of care per week in Liverpool and St Helens. MCJA is registered with and regulated by The Care Quality Commission. Consequently, the organisation is closely focused on meeting its compliance requirements and ensuring that quarterly inspections are passed.
In 2001 Merseycare and Julie Ann merged to create a single organisation providing around 500 hours of care. However, since then, the health and social care sector has undergone enormous change. “Over the years there has been a shift to keep people out of residential care and support them in their own homes with domiciliary care ,” says Rosie Robinson, Registered Manager at MCJA.
In that time there has been a significant emphasis on regulation. Rosie Robinson comments: “When you look at the main things involved - Outcomes, Best Practice, Health and Safety, the Department of Health and the CQC for example - there are so many information streams that have to be brought together to successfully manage compliance.”
The job requirement of carers has also changed. “It used to be more of a need for home help with domestic tasks. Now it’s very much about providing care for service users. Essentially, there are times when a carer may have to perform some of the tasks that were traditionally carried out by a District Nurse,” Rosie Robinson says.
Meeting all compliance requirements is a necessity, but this makes Medications one of the most sensitive and important areas. The risks that may result from incorrectly administered medication make it a prime compliance area of which MCJA and all domiciliary care organisations need to take control.
The QCS compliance management system provides a comprehensive digital library of policies and procedures. These are updated by QCS compliance experts every time there is a change in the regulatory requirement and are customised for the specific needs of MCJA. The attention to detail of the system is exacting. This ensures that there are no compliance loopholes and nothing is left to chance.
Rosie Robinson says, “For example, in December we circulate a memo to all staff so that they are all aware of the policy regarding Christmas gifts. We simply copy the QCS policy from the system and circulate it as part of a memo to all staff.”
The system is also there for when staff fail to act in line with regulations by supporting the disciplinary process. “If we have to take disciplinary action we print out the appropriate QCS policy to clearly show the specific policy breach in question,” Rosie Robinson says.
MCJA has come a long way using QCS compliance management, adapting to the changes that have raised standards of care and professionalism across the health and social care sector.
“Compliance is completely embedded in our culture. Liverpool City Council inspects all service providers quarterly and we come out on top, achieving up to 86% compliance.”
Recently MCJA has won some significant contracts in a crowded and highly competitive marketplace. Consequently, the explosion of work in the last 12 months means that MCJA is one of the leading domiciliary care providers in Liverpool. QCS compliance management strongly supports this success in a number of ways.
Rosie Robinson says: “One of the reasons we win these contracts is because we hold the ISO 9001:2008 quality award mark. We were expecting to have to work towards this for up to 18 months. The assessor looked very thoroughly at the how we worked with the QCS compliance management system. As a result there were no recommendations for any revisions to how we do things and we were awarded the ISO quality mark very quickly.”
The system has also been a highly influential factor in the selection process and the retention of employees. “We have used QCS Recruitment, Induction and Training policies to grow our HR to meet our commitments. The care standards that the system allows us to achieve means that we have attracted and kept hold of some really fantastic people,” says Rosie Robinson.
The QCS Medications Policy and Procedure is totally comprehensive. “It makes sure you can be CQC compliant while letting you get on with the other side of the job. We have access to every policy and procedure that we need to run a quality care organisation from start to finish, and we would not be where we are today without QCS compliance management,” Rosie Robinson says.