CQC shares tips from seven turned-around homes

Seven care homes have shared their hints and tips to turn a CQC ‘inadequate’ rating into ‘good’, in a new CQC report.

The report, Driving improvement: Case studies from nine adult social care services, finds that the recruitment and retention of capable, valued and supported staff are critical if a home wants to improve. It shares providers’ reactions to receiving an inadequate rating, and explores how these settings then improved, including giving top tips from care home managers.

Care homes profiled by the CQC include:

  • Collinson Court care home, Stoke on Trent
  • The Lawn residential care home, Holybourne, Hampshire
  • Leiston Old Abbey residential home, Leiston, Suffolk
  • The New Deanery care home, Braintree, Essex
  • Ottley House nursing home, Shrewsbury
  • The Potteries care home, near Poole, Dorset
  • St Cecilia’s nursing home, Bromley, Kent.

According to the CQC, key lessons to arise from the case studies include understanding and accepting that problems exist; creating a clear vision to improve and putting that into action; appointing strong leaders who can establish an open and transparent culture; and focusing on developing a workforce that is valued, well trained and supported to deliver safe, effective person-centred care.

Reactions: Most providers react to a report highlighting failures with shock, surprise and disappointment. But usually when people stand back and have time to reflect, they understand the failings. For some staff the report can come as a relief, as they may have been struggling to deliver the care they wanted to. For others it is a wake-up call that standards have slipped. 

Leadership: The value of a good leader cannot be underestimated. In most of the providers we spoke to, a new manager had come into the service to deliver the improvements. They engage with staff, people who use services and their families and are open to suggestions but set parameters and take tough decisions where necessary.

Cultural change: Failing organisations tend to have cultures in which staff are afraid to speak out, don’t feel they have a voice and are not listened to. Involving staff is one of the best ways to drive improvement.

Person-centred care: In most cases care plans lacked detail and did not show that the care being provided was person-centred. It is not possible to provide good care if the care staff do not understand the needs of the person being cared for.

Working with partners: Most of the services asked and received support to help them improve.

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, said: “As the independent quality regulator, we know the devastating impact inadequate adult social care has on people, their families and carers. That’s why it’s vital that the people in charge of providing care tackle the problems our inspections identify so improvement can be achieved. Our Driving Improvement publication shares the experiences of those who have been able to transform the care they deliver to explain how that journey of improvement can happen. My hope is that people running or working in care services rated as inadequate or requires improvement can use these case studies as practical guidance to improve for the benefit of the people they support and care for.

Minister for care Caroline Dinenage said: “I am committed to ensuring social care in England is of high quality, safe and compassionate and will shortly outline reforms so the sector is sustainable for the future.”



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