Maintaining Standards is Not Easy
The original rating clearly has a significant bearing on this statistic. If the original rating were Good or Outstanding, then no change is a perfectly satisfactory result. In addition to this, services receiving a poor original rating have a clear incentive to improve. For services graded as Inadequate, there was an 89% improvement in the overall ratings, which by any standards is impressive.
The question is – What happens next? The data shows that 25% of services rated as either Good or Outstanding declined during the following year. So the ability of the services to maintain their ratings from year to year is an important factor which is of real interest to us at Fastroi. The report acknowledges that high quality of care is not easily maintained and cites several areas that might lead to a ratings decline.
58% – No change
25% – Improved
Source: CQC State of Health Care and Adult Social Care in England Report 2017/2018. P31 Fig. 1.7
State of Care 2017/18: Full report PDF | 3.73 MB
A lack of leadership and governance is one of the major causes of declining quality, since the systems are not in place to monitor quality levels. Failures in medicinal adherence also puts customer safety at risk. Continuity of management and staffing concerns also carries risks for quality. Reliance upon short term agency workers is not cost efficient and also lowers the continuity of care that is so important to many customers. The report told the story of one person who received 42 different care workers in 1 week. Staff retention levels are also affected by poor training and development, low wages with zero hours contracts and difficult working conditions. Poor relations between providers and managers have lead to out of date care plans, missing information, poor training and support for new staff and bullying to admit more customers.
Care Management Software Makes Helps Maintain Standards
It is clear that many of these services cannot be using any kind of Care Management Software. They may be able to make short term improvements and deliver high quality care for a short time, but they will always be susceptible to external factors. If changes creep in slowly, then they may be difficult to control and may only be spotted at the next inspection. If they occur quickly, then the results can be catastrophic.
Care Management Software is so effective because it is the tool that controls the process, not the person. This is significant because all of the issues mentioned above could not happen if the processes were properly controlled. It should be very easy for a manager to use the Care Management System to present all of the information about staffing levels, bed availability to service owners making the service less susceptible to influence or pressure. Staffing would become more stable, with staff feeling more comfortable in their positions and not being asked to run the service over capacity. This in turn will lead to higher retention levels and less agency staff being needed, lower costs, higher profits and a much less stressful environment. The result – Higher Quality of Care.
By running a Care Management System that controls the processes, services can improve and maintain the quality of their care from year to year. Clearly, achieving a Good or Outstanding CQC rating is not easy, and maintaining the rating also has its challenges. Employing a Care management System such as Real-Time Care from Fastroi, gives service providers and their staff the right tools to achieve Outstanding results for years to come.