Health and Social Care Matters
The Health and Social Care sector is a high risk sector in society. Business owners are responsible for the health and safety of their managers and staff as with all businesses. However, in this sector they are also responsible for the care and well being of the supported people they provide care for. They are not just responsible for any individuals, but typically very vulnerable members of society. Often, vulnerable individuals with very complex needs and care packages in place.
Who cares about care?
There is a massive expectation that these Individuals will receive (as a minimum) the same level of care that they would receive if they were with their own families and loved ones. Furthermore, there is a level of trust invested into the providers who care for them too. A faith that the people supported will receive the best possible care. But does that always happen? Sadly not. It would be a perfect world if it did. There are most definitely health and social care providers who are getting it right, every time. Because of these, we have a top tier, the top providers of care. And those are the ones to aspire to. They deserve the accolades and awards, for it truly is an achievement to reach those highs, those ‘outstanding’ CQC ratings.
The reality is though, that an alarming number of our care homes and support providers are struggling to make the CQC grades of good or outstanding. In the UK currently, there are thousands of care homes falling short of expected standards. And what happens when standards are failing? Well it has a knock on effect. Managers struggle, staff underperform, and ultimately, levels of care reach desperately low levels.
Consequently, the trust and faith is gone from loved ones.
Crucially, care and compliance is compromised.
Worryingly, neglect, abuse and harm can become a reality.
Thank goodness CQC ARE inspecting health and social care businesses regularly, to keep standards regulated and help providers improve.
Why training matters
So, whilst there are a huge variety of ways in which standards compliance and CQC ratings can be improved in care homes, training is a crucial area to be addressed. There is a direct correlation between training and CQC ratings. According to studies and Skills for Care statistics, the less training staff have had, the lower the CQC rating. It may seem obvious, but fully trained staff are well equipped, confident, clear in their roles and able to care to their best abilities.
What CQC inspectors want to see regarding training is a clear plan in place, where staff are appropriately trained. CQC will definitely want to see that this is up to date and monitored and refreshed annually. They want to see that the staff are competently trained to perform their roles. Inspectors want to see that staff understand the importance of the training provided and how to apply this in their day to day work activities.
There isn’t a set list of training that all care providers need to have in place. It’s not that black and white. Each individual business needs to look at their own service and the needs of the individuals they support. They then need to deliver the appropriate level of training to the appropriate team members to meet their clients needs.
Most noteworthy of CQC expectations is that “Care must never fall below the fundamental standards.”
And the key lines of enquiry that will be assessed are: is your service safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. In much more detail of course!
A plan of action
So where do care homes start with training? What practical steps do they put in place to provide the best possible care, meet compliance and achieve a top CQC rating?
Here are some top tips:
- Start by assessing the current state of training in your care home
- Even if it is a poor picture, starting to address it is a step in the right direction.
- Design a matrix of training to identify exactly what the mandatory training, council led and service specific training needs are
- Identify which members of staff require what training and to what level
- Mark off who has had which training and the dates completed
- Make individual training records for every member of staff
- Colour code the matrix to identify training dates that are overdue, due in the next month and up to date so that you can see at a glance
- Set an action plan of what to tackle first. Hint: overdue and high priority first
- Make contact with a credible and high quality training provide to discuss your needs
- You may wish to take this step much earlier on, at the stage of analysing your current training picture as they will be experts and able to advise and direct you
- For continuity and stress free organisation, see if one training provider can provide all aspects of the training you require
- Discuss costs and agree on a daily rate or contract terms
- Prioritise training needs and plan dates for delivery
- Engage managers and staff in all plans and the importance of getting on board with this
- Decide on who will be responsible for the accurate updating and safe keeping of training records
- Review how effectively your new plan is working – ask staff following training, monitor new skills in the workplace, ask residents or service users and their families. Longer term look at CQC rating and profitability of the service.
- When CQC arrive for an inspection, be proud of the training plans put into place and speak with confidence about the effects of this on your service
Note to Managers
You must make training a priority. Staffing levels and cover need to be budgeted for. The initial costs will be recouped in the standards of care and success of your service in the longer term.
Remember, the best health and social care organisations work hard to get there. They really care about standards of care.
Above all, nothing happens magically. However, with dedication and the right training provider, improvements can be made and standards raised and maintained.
For more information on our range of Health and Social Care courses click the link: https://thtrainingsolutions.co.uk/health-social-care/
To find out more about the work CQC do to improve and regulate standards, see their website: https://www.cqc.org.uk/