Adult social care: quality matters

A Policy Briefing aimed at healthcare professionals is available for LKS staff to share in their own organisations. This has been produced and shared by the JET Library, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Please feel free to reproduce it (with acknowledgement to JET Library) for your own purposes.

Impact on library policy/practice: 

Library and Knowledge Services already make an important contribution to safe, high-quality care in the NHS. However, an absence of funding currently prevents library services extending their service and knowledge resources to most social care staff, and the number of providers in the social care sector make it difficult to negotiate service level agreements at a local level. This may change in areas where accountable care organisations are created, bringing health and social care together.

Commissioners of social care in local authorities could be approached to discuss the potential contribution of LKS to quality in the social care sector, and see if any SLAs can be created. This may be something that should be done at a national level, to avoid duplication of effort and ensure equitable funding and access.

Source: Department of Health and Care Quality Commission

Link to main document

Publication format: Webpage, with links to the main document and action plan

Date of publication: July 2017

Summary of driver:

The Quality Matters initiative is co-led by partners from across the adult social care sector, and this document sets out the agreed principles that support high-quality, person centred adult social care. The principles reflect those of the NHS National Quality Board.

There is no change to statutory responsibilities.

Key features of driver:

  • There are around 12,000 adult social-care providers in the UK
  • They provide care in around 25,000 different locations – excluding people’s homes
  • The sector contributes around £20bn to the economy
  • It enables families of people being cared for to continue working
  • It employs about 1.43m people doing 1.55m jobs
  • Challenges include:
    • Rising needs from an ageing population with increasingly complex conditions
    • Rising costs to providers of adult social care
    • Restricted public funds
    • Challenges in recruiting and retaining good-quality staff
  • Quality can vary – some is unacceptable and unreliable
  • Quality Matters is a shared commitment for everyone who uses works in and supports adult social care. It aims to achieve:
    • A shared understanding of what high-quality care is
    • More effective and aligned support for quality in adult social care
    • Improved quality in adult social care
  • Single, shared view of quality including:
    • Equity and equality
    • Person-centre care
  • Principles are:
    • Promoting quality through everything that we do
    • Coordinate action
  • Priorities to improve quality
    • Acting on feedback, concerns and compliments
    • Measuring, collecting and using data more effectively
    • Commissioning for better outcomes
    • Better support for improvement
    • Shared focus areas for improvement
    • Improving the profile of adult social care
  • Seven steps to improve quality:
    • Setting clear direction and priorities
    • Bringing clarity to quality
    • Measuring and publishing quality
    • Recognising and rewarding quality
    • Maintaining and safeguarding quality
    • Building capability
    • Staying ahead

Primary audience: Commissioners, managers and staff in the adult social care sector, users of adult social care, regulators and improvement agencies

Date last updated: September 2017

Due for review: September 2017

Group member responsible: JC

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