4.3 Contribute to quality assurance processes to promote positive experiences for individuals using care services

Course: NVQ Level 4 Diploma In Health And Social Care (RQF)

Unit 9: Professional practice in health and social care for adults or children and young people

LO4: Be able to apply values, principles, and statutory frameworks that underpin service provision in own area of work

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4.3 Contribute to quality assurance processes to promote positive experiences for individuals using care services

Quality assurance is important in the provision of health services, ensuring that individuals are receiving top-quality service. It can also ensure that national standards are being implemented and maintained. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence produced a guidance document for this purpose.

The Department of Health has supported many initiatives to improve quality within the health care system such as the “Quality Accounts” initiative. Although not a statutory requirement for NHS Trusts, all NHS Trusts are expected to have an annual quality account that demonstrates their commitment to improvement and how they have done so.

The CQC is responsible for compiling the Care Quality Index (CQI) which is a national system that measures, compares, and rates the quality of health and social care services in England. It uses data from all clinical areas across all types of organizations providing publicly funded health or social care. The index was introduced in July 2015 to improve transparency in the provision of healthcare by making it easier for patients to understand how their care differs from other providers. There are four headline domains: safety, responsiveness, effectiveness, and being well-led.

Quality Assurance is a tool for ensuring that the individuals you support receive individualized high-quality service. It involves looking at all aspects of care and support packages from planning to delivery, in order to ensure it’s safe, effective, and meeting each individual’s needs wishes, and preferences.

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The Quality Assurance Process

The Quality Assurance (QA) process consists of:

  • Assessing care delivery: Assessing care delivery involves continual observation of staff and individuals who use services, ensuring that the necessary strategies are in place to deliver a safe and effective service. The manager is responsible for continually assessing the needs of individuals who use their service, along with how these needs can be met effectively.
  • Identifying issues or problems: In order to maintain standards of care, it’s important to be able to identify any problems within the service delivery. This should be done by carefully observing what occurs during individual or group meetings, particularly noting if there are issues that affect the safety and effectiveness of the service. Once problems have been identified, solutions can then be sought for implementation.
  • Implementing solutions: Once care has been delivered effectively for a period of time, you may consider that standards need to be improved further or maintained at an even higher level. If this is done successfully, then other services may wish to use your approach as a model for how to deliver their own services.
  • Follow-up monitoring: Follow-up monitoring involves evaluating whether any actions which were implemented due to findings from the QA process have been effective. This should be done by carrying out QA activities on a regular basis to ensure that real improvements have occurred as a result of the proposed solutions that were implemented.

Quality Assurance in Practice

In order to ensure that care services are being delivered to a high standard, it is important that the individual meets their needs, wishes, and preferences. In order to do this, it’s important for managers to continually evaluate care delivery. This can be done by meeting individuals who receive care on a regular basis in a group environment to identify any problems which may arise. When these issues are identified, solutions can be sought for immediate implementation in order to maintain high standards throughout all future meetings. By using QA tools such as quality audits and inspections, managers will be able to ensure that the appropriate level of monitoring is carried out on an ongoing basis.

Once an improvement plan has been implemented successfully, this should be shared with other local services so they can learn from your model of best practice. This should then lead to increased or maintained standards across all services for individuals who receive care packages locally.

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