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3.12 Ensuring Quality in Provider Services


Contents

  1. Working with Providers
  2. Why Do We Need a Joined Up Approach to Ensuring Quality in Provider Services?
  3. How Do We Ensure a Joined up Approach to Ensuring Quality?
  4. Commissioning Role in Safeguarding Adults


1. Working with Providers

It is the responsibility of the local authority to work with providers of health and social care to ensure all services provided (be they in-house or external) are safe and meet the needs of service users. This is particularly important where services are judged to not meet appropriate standards, and may therefore place individuals at risk.

The Care Quality Commission monitors, inspects and regulates services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and publish what they find, including performance ratings to help people choose care.

If services do not meet appropriate standards, they may place individuals at risk. The CQC ensures that providers have planned reviews to measure compliance against the regulations. In addition, the CQC will undertake responsive reviews where there is a sufficient concern.

Important to note, is that any inspection is only a snapshot so there is a responsibility on local authorities to be the ‘eyes and ears’ in terms of quality and standards. Also important to note is that the CQC inspect regulated services only so that services such as day care, or supported living without domiciliary care, are out of scope of regulation.


2. Why Do We Need a Joined Up Approach to Ensuring Quality in Provider Services?

Local authorities and health and social care agencies have responsibility to the whole of their population, not just those people accessing support via adult social care, therefore encompassing people purchasing their own care. This means wider responsibility to ensure that the care services available are of sufficient quality.

Quality may be defined as:

  • ‘Having choice and control over day-to-day and significant life decisions;
  • Maintaining good relationships with family, partners, friends, staff and others;
  • Spending time purposefully and enjoyably doing things that bring people pleasure and meaning;
  • Organisational and service factors which enable these outcomes to be achieved and sustained’.

People who use services and their families are looking for authoritative and reliable information about services so that that they can make informed personal decisions.

Accurate and timely Information sharing between health and social care agencies is paramount in ensuring that provider concerns raised with one agency are shared to prevent further potential abuse in other areas where the provider operates.


3. How Do We Ensure a Joined up Approach to Ensuring Quality?

Contracts and Commissioning

  • Local authorities and health and social care agencies work together to ensure learning from good practice and more joined up working.

Listening to People

  • Communication links between community health and adult social care teams are strong. District nurses, dentists, social workers, community psychiatric nurses and carers all play a pivotal role in identifying concerns in people’s own homes and places where they are cared for. It is essential that these concerns are shared with appropriate colleagues to ensure that follow up action is effective and proportionate.

Information Sharing

  • When deemed necessary, information is shared with neighbouring authorities, Care Quality Commission, Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS Trusts, Children’s Social Care services, the police, and other commissioners of health and social care services;
  • Information is provided regarding providers on local authority websites and updated to ensure that information is accurate and up to date;
  • Accessible, easy to understand information is available for people who use services and their families to report concerns and be involved with improvement plans with providers where relevant.

See also Information Sharing Procedure.

Working with Providers

  • Where quality standards are not met, local authorities work with care providers through the development of improvement plans that are monitored to ensure that improvements are producing positive outcomes for those people using the service;
  • Local authorities ensure that contracts and service level agreements are monitored regularly by staff who understand quality and safeguarding issues and that staff are able to identify and share that information when necessary;
  • When issues are highlighted involving care providers, local authorities undertake joint enquiries with health and social care agencies to ensure that an individual’s health, safety and care needs are being met to a high standard.

See also Out-of-Area Safeguarding Adults Arrangements Procedure.

Reporting

  • Local authorities will identify emerging trends and develop joint strategies for managing improvement.


4. Commissioning Role in Safeguarding Adults

See Involving Commissioning in Safeguarding Enquiries.

End