21st November 2016

Leadership and Well-being in Wales

Leadership and Well-being in Wales

Leadership is about taking services forward, improving standards, promoting best-practice and inspiring others. Leadership is the final theme in the new (interim) Inspection Framework for care services in Wales.

This framework is the result of the need for new inspection arrangements arising from the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, 2014 from April of this year (2016). This piece of legislation is intended to be transformational in the way that services are designed and delivered, making care and support highly bespoke to each individual service user.

Leadership and The New Inspection Framework for Welsh Care Services

Consequently, the leadership role within services needs now to be well-being focussed, so as to ensure a fit between policy and legislation, individual well-being goals and service delivery. As with the other themes, ultimately it all leads back to realising the well-being goals of service users. So the role of leadership within care services is to focus services across all of their functions, upon the well-being needs of service users.

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." (Peter Drucker).

And so...every business sector requires leaders to keep doing the right things, to innovate, to support others doing the right thing and to look ahead and see what is needed. I saw an example of this recently in a company I was working with. The Responsible Individual recognised that identifying critical information relating to individual service users through reporting at handovers, was falling short of the necessary standard, and commissioned handover-training within a broader package of staff development aimed at shift-leaders. Perhaps it sounds mundane, but I felt this was an example of a reflective individual, in touch with their organisation, and creative in responding to this well-being related service deficit.

So as the context changes with the legislation and the new (interim) inspection framework, so the nature of leadership shifts towards person-centred care and support and all of the organisational functions which support this central activity.

Agenda for Change

By considering leadership against this context it is possible to arrive at a 'leadership-agenda' compatible with the new arrangements. In order to fulfil the well-being requirement of person-centred care and support, leadership will;

  • Champion service user involvement.
  • Infuse management arrangements throughout the organisation with a well-being focus;
  • Elicit active participation from service users through feedback;
  • Ensure that evidence of service user involvement is collated;
  • Direct training and supervision towards user well-being;
  • Proof policies and procedures against the new arrangements.
  • Ensure staff support and development is formative and restorative so as to optimally support the workforce.
  • Focus upon staff development thereby promoting staff-retention and a motivated workforce more able to respond effectively to service users.
  • Provide training to give staff the knowledge and skill base necessary to work with challenges and potential posed by service users.
  • Help develop the awareness of staff relating to well-being.

This agenda will ensure that services are being well led and effectively prepared.

Time for Leadership in Wales

In the context of the new inspection framework, leadership is about delivering quality, person-centred care and support, focussed upon the 10 well-being determinants. Leadership within services will ensure that all functions within the organisation are service-user facing and directed towards well-being attainment. Care services need to review their training and leadership preparation to more closely align personal and organisational development objectives with the new statutory and inspection framework, whilst leaders must find innovative and creative ways of personalising care and support, engaging with service users and making a reality of the well-being agenda. Without effective leadership at this juncture, the transformational aspiration of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, 2014 will remain merely an aspiration.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing

Nic Bowler

Welsh Care and Social Services Inspectorate Specialist

Dr Nicholas Bowler is a researcher and consultant to government-level [Welsh Government Review of Secure Services, 2009] – specialising in QA/compliance focused projects. He has interests in clinically relevant training, service development and research. He enjoys working with clients to support them in identifying problems and initiating projects to improve practice.

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