It has been another challenging year for providers. QCS’s Barry Price outlines some key resources that have added value and will continue to do so in 2022.
1) Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC)
At the start of the pandemic, there was a big focus on ensuring that social care settings had robust IPC policies in place to combat COVID-19. Given its continued spread and the impact that winter illnesses such as Flu, chest infections and Norovirus may have, IPC remains more important than ever. Against this challenging backdrop, it’s vital that providers don’t allow a culture of complacency to take hold. Only by increasing their IPC efforts, will they be to handle the perfect storm of challenges set to come their way.
· The COVID-19 Hub on the QCS website contains all the relevant COVID-19 resources, including information on flu
· The QCS Business Continuity Plan addresses COVID-19 and vaccinations
· The QCS suite of Infection Control and Health & Safety Policies offers an annual infection control statement template
It’s no secret that the pandemic has taken a huge toll on mental health, forcing some frontline staff to leave the profession as a result.
Managers need to proactively support and supervise their staff. Supervision is a two-way process and staff should feel empowered to have a frank and open discussion, even when addressing negative concerns. Enabling staff to air their views in a safe environment will increase their sense of value.
QCS Supervision forms provide the ground-rules for a positive two-way relationship between staff and line managers. They help managers build up a picture of work/life balance and provide a forum for managers to openly discuss personal as well as physical and mental health issues.
Managers should also access:
· Resources from MIND and other mental health charities such as Wellness Action Plan
· NHS Counselling self-referral programme
When it comes to staffing, recruitment is vital to ensure the service continues to deliver good quality person-centered care.
In addition, service users are increasingly having a say on the care and support they receive, including who supports them. Providers, therefore, need to take this into consideration in their recruitment plans.
· The QCS Recruitment Guide encourages Managers and Directors to constantly review their recruitment plan
· The QCS recruitment tool kit has been designed to speed up and streamline the process of developing seasonal promotional activities and communications
· Skills for Care helps leaders and managers recruit, develop and lead their staff, retaining them from entry-level right through to senior leadership and management roles
· The Government’s Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund supports social care workforce capacity pressures through recruitment and retention activity
To conform to the CQC’s training registration focus and continued inspections, providers should use training matrices and plans. These enable them to demonstrate different training tracks, including induction, mandatory and specialist training.
Providers need to develop a robust training plan which includes QCF diplomas and additional service-specific training. This should be a live document that can be revised when needed and should be reviewed regularly. It should also contain an audit trail of actions taken.
Training must fully reflect the needs of service user groups as well as focus on career development planning for staff. The QCS Annual Appraisal and Career Development Planning resources helps engage team members and define future aspirations. This is key to a ‘grow your own’ pool of development opportunities for the business and aids staff retention.
Other key resources include:
· The QCS Training Plan includes a training matrix and a set of training policies, qualifications, induction, training and renewal dates, training feedback forms
· NICE and Skills for Care Training Resources
· The Oliver McGowan training The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Learning Disability and Autism Training trial
· The British Institute for Learning Disabilities