6 Steps to Improve the Quality of Your Care Home

With average life expectancy increasing, demand for care homes is already high. Even so, it’s still growing. The level of demand may give the impression that care-home provision is very much a seller’s market. In reality, however, buyers expect high standards for their money.

Here, Nicola Holmes, Task Force Team Lead at Delphi Care, share their tips on how to improve the quality of your care home.

Start with your CQC rating

The CQC rating system was created to give regular people an easy way to judge if a care home is worth their consideration. Realistically, most people are likely to start looking for a care home by searching on the internet for care homes in their preferred local area. Their next step will usually be to check its CQC rating. If this is inadequate (or not shown), they will almost certainly move on.

Your CQC rating is also a useful guide not just to how well you are doing but also to how well you are showing what you are doing. It can therefore provide useful input for marketing. Remember, CQCs operate on five Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs). These are safety, effectiveness, care, responsiveness, and leadership. Those are exactly the topics most customers want to know about too.

One effective strategy for improving the quality of your care home is to do as much work as you can to address the five KLOEs. Then bring in an external agency to conduct a mock CQC exam and see how you do.

Hopefully, you’ll be rated as outstanding. If you’re not, then you’ll be given feedback on how to improve. Take it on board and then try again. Repeat this process periodically to make sure that you always stay up-to-date with current standards.

Addressing safety

The key point to remember here is that it isn’t enough just to prioritise safety. You need to have proof that you’re prioritising safety. Fortunately, that proof can also serve other useful purposes. For example, if you document your safety protocols, your documentation can also be used to train your staff.

One point to remember is that safety also relates to the safety of personal data. You should therefore be prepared to show how you’re managing cybersecurity.

Addressing effectiveness

If you have a care plan in place for each resident, then your effectiveness can be judged in terms of your progress towards the outcomes of the care plan. All care homes should have care plans in place for all residents, except those on there for very short-term stays. You, therefore, need to find a method for measuring and recording progress towards its outcomes.

Addressing care

For practical purposes, care means being resident-focussed. This essentially means ensuring that your care home really is a place where people live and enjoy life. There are three particular areas it is often useful to address.

Firstly, does your care home look and feel like a home? For example, is it furnished and decorated like a home? Secondly, does your care home promote both community and individuality? How do you support people of diverse ethnicities and religions? What about LGBTQ+ residents? Thirdly, do you support and encourage residents to exercise, pursue hobbies and engage in organised activities?

Addressing responsiveness

Responsiveness is really a test of your ability to manage channels of communication. After all, you can only respond to issues if you know about them. Generally, there are two keys to success in this area.

First of all, quality is more important than quantity. In other words, it’s better to have a small number of communication channels with a quick response time than a lot of communication channels with a slow response time.

In most cases, one or two phone numbers (standard and emergency) plus an email will be more than enough to keep customers happy. If you want to add extra communication channels, be sure you can monitor them effectively.

Secondly, remember that the more proactive you are, the less reactive you need to be. Make a point of reaching out to stakeholders, particularly residents, and getting their opinions on key issues.

Addressing leadership

Everything starts with leadership and that can be a challenge for leaders. It can be very difficult to get constructive (i.e., objective, and actionable) feedback on your performance. You might want to address this by looking for external coaching and/or mentoring.

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4416 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.