CQC guidance on driving improvement in adult social care

June 7, 2018

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a new resource for providers on driving improvement in adult social care. The publication contains nine case studies telling the stories of adult social care services that have improved from a rating of Inadequate and/or enforcement action to a rating of Good.

The case studies provides an honest insight from a wide range of people – including those who use services, their families and carers, staff, managers, directors, chief executives and other professionals. They explore how the services reacted to the initial rating, what they did to turn things around and what they learnt through the process. At the end of each case study, the manager has shared their top tips for improvement – practical ideas that other services looking to improve could implement themselves.

Across the country, CQC has seen over 80% of adult social care services that were originally rated Inadequate improve their overall rating and Driving Improvement highlights examples in County Durham, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Hampshire, Suffolk, Essex, Surrey, Kent and Dorset.

Findings from the report show that the recruitment and retention of capable, valued and supported staff has never been more critical to achieving the high-quality care everyone has a right to expect.

Driving Improvement reflects the wide range of services and people involved in the adult social care sector. CQC visited homecare agencies, nursing homes and residential homes, with specialisms for supporting people with different needs.

Commenting on the publication, 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.

'Key lessons we have seen 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 where improvement can truly thrive; and focusing on developing a workforce that is valued, well-trained and supported to deliver safe, effective person-centred care.

'But we’re not saying that improvement is easy. Pressure on resources, increasing demands and workforce shortages mean these are challenging times for adult social care. Providers and their staff have a responsibility to deliver good care – but commissioners, funders and national bodies and the health and care system as a whole has a responsibility to work together to help create the environment that makes this possible.'

Last month, Andrea gave the sector a preview of the report in our Inside CQC column.

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