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03rd August 2017

Power in unity

The big guns of Social Care including CQC have united to put Quality Matters together, but what is it and what difference will it make to you and the people you support?

Imagination station

I have just empowered my son with an energy ball shot from my hand, which will give him all my super strength and enable him to use his Lego man ‘Dave’ to get into his Lego car and pretty much take on all the bad guys through a Duplo tunnel about 1 ½ feet tall (yes I still like to use feet).

Pulling the super hero into social care

I have always hoped there will be a super hero with similar powers to my own, who can assist the dire resource issues that face social care, highlighted just this month in the Care Quality Commissions State of Adult Social Care Annual Report.

Unfortunately, there is going to be no conventional Superhero to save the day, but there is definitely still hope.

Reading Blues

I’ve got to read a lot. Sometimes an eyebrow or two are raised by my family as I screech at my computer… “COME ON!”.

But sometimes I really want to read on, and sometimes I like what I read and I believe what I read.

So, this is where I find myself with Quality Matters. It reads well, it’s in colour! More importantly, it shows unity and clear thinking - It makes sense. What’s not to like?… it might not be the Super Hero I envisaged, but it is a fantastic united front.


Quality matters is a collaboration of 23 organisations and endorsed by many more in response to the varying quality of care across the sector, including commissioners, provider representatives, voluntary organisations acting with people who use services and government bodies. It recognises the difficult circumstances that adult social care operates in, and how this contributes to quality, and seeks to provide a single view of;

  • What high-quality care is
  • More effective and aligned support for quality in adult social care
  • Improved quality in adult social care

Is it just about being done to?

It’s how everyone should view quality and the different roles of people in doing that. Often regulators and partners have their own individual slant on things with not a lot of joined up-ness. It looks at information sharing, using existing frameworks, and talking to and supporting people who use services, providers and organisations in making sure quality care is obtained and maintained.

What happens next?

Well – if it were a Marvel film, we would see them all suit up against the forces of evil with lots of super powers and flying and other such things, but Quality Matters has its feet firmly on the ground. It sets out what its next steps should be and how they will continue to work together to look at what quality should look like in different settings.

‘Bringing our single shared view of quality together‘ is the last part of the document. My focus for you is the second from last bubble ‘Support and encourage improvement’. The first line reads ‘We will listen to the views of care staff to understand how we can better support them, individually and collectively.’

That’s what we all want right?  We want to understand what we need to do and have the right support to do it.


I was about to get annoyed with no time lines being set or future actions being more than flowery words, but then I saw the Action summary. Take a look and see what you think.

Back to the game

My son has just informed me Dave has the power now, and he’s wiped me out… not the ending I was hoping for!

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist

Abi has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement Abi has developed a wide and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission. Read more

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