Scoring and soaring, above and beyond in quality!

Earlier this year we caught up with one of our care home managers, Kelly Barnard, about their recent quality audit which went up from 91.8% to 98.4%. Kelly looks after and manages one of our outstanding rated care homes in Scarborough – Derwent Cottage.

Congratulations on the quality score Kelly! What was the process you and your team took to increase your score in your recent audit?

I find the key is to give yourself realistic time scales to complete tasks when writing the consolidation action plan.

Delegate, so you’re not giving yourself everything to do. Look at the tasks and assess to see if anything else can be completed by other staff not just by your senior support workers. For example I have a training champ, who takes care of and chases up staff completing their e-learning and arranges any up and coming training to be completed. She does this by giving staff reminders in advance so they do not go out of date and this helps with the audit passes.

What other factors do you think has contributed to your quality score?

The daily checking of the consolidation action plan is essential as this helps with even just completing one task instead of none at all. This is as a prompt for the senior support workers to check on the daily shift planner and helps to schedule tasks to be completed in advance so time can be set apart for it.

We also complete the quartile audits as soon as they arrive instead of waiting until the very last minute. This helps to identify what needs to be done, the time scales and delegation set and then the majority of the work is complete prior to quality audits, which are carried out by Quality and Compliance Managers.

What advice would you give to another care home who is looking to get a quality score as high as Derwent Cottage?

Be objective about the audits, it’s an opportunity for fresh eyes to look at things as a lot of people see this as a burden and feel they are being told they are failing when it’s not. As managers we can get side tracked and overwhelmed with other work so a fresh eye look at things should be seen as helping in reviewing where we are and to plan.

But it’s essential to not just delegate tasks to other managers and your senior support workers, other junior staff are capable and have skills to help complete tasks. Plus it’s an opportunity to see the skills of your junior staff and whether there is potential progression for them and this is just another opportunity to value them and say thank you.

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