Tag Archives: Health and Social Care

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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State of Care Report 2015/16

Title of driver: The state of health and adult social care in England 2015/16

Impact on library policy/practice:

Libraries are a knowledge hub providing services such as evidence summaries, literature searching and current awareness which can be linked to challenges faced by the specific organisation (CQC inspection reports for individual organisations can be searched for on the CQC website and can be a good way to identify local priority areas).

We can ensure that the best clinical and management knowledge is available to decision-makers in the organisation, in order to tackle the challenges identified in this report. Libraries are ideally placed to identify and disseminate best practice to assist health care organisations in providing quality care with limited resources.

Collaboration across organisational boundaries is identified as a means to improve services, and this may have implications for libraries as users move between organisations or work jointly between organisations that may have different resources or library access arrangements.

Source: Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Link to main page
Link to 2015/2016 State of Care Report

Publication format: PDF (149 pages)

Date of publication: October 2016

Summary of driver:

Many health and care services were providing good quality care, despite a challenging environment,
but there was substantial variation remaining. Some health and care services were improving, but some were also failing to improve or deteriorating in quality.

People’s views of services broadly remain positive, but this masked significant variation in experiences of care

There were indications that the sustainability of adult social care was approaching a tipping point, and hospitals are under increasing pressure. The CQC was concerned about the sustainability of quality

Key features of driver:

  • 71% of the adult social care services inspected, 83% of GP practices, and 51% of core services provided by hospitals were rated good
  • By the end of 2015/16, NHS providers had overspent their budgets by £2.45 billion. Local authorities were reported to have spent £168 million more than they budgeted for
  • More than eight out of 10 NHS acute trusts were in financial deficit at the end of 2015/16
  • Strong, visible leadership continues to be a major factor in delivering and sustaining high quality services, and in making improvements
  • The difficulties in adult social care were already affecting hospitals. Bed occupancy rates exceeded 91% in January to March 2016, the highest quarterly rate for at least six years. And in 2015/16, there was an increase in the number of people having to wait to be discharged from hospital, in part due to a lack of suitable care options
  • All parts of local health and care systems – commissioners, providers, regulators and local people – need to work together to help transform local areas.

The document looks at the state of care in the period 2015-16, as well as looking at the future resilience of health and social care services in the context of an ageing population.

Throughout the document, there are examples from services rated as outstanding as to how these ratings were achieved.

After the initial review, the report gives more details for each of sectors it regulates.

A summary and infographic of the report findings are also available.

Primary audience: All health and social care providers in England, members of the public and other stakeholders.

Date last updated: May 2017
Due for review: May 2018
Group member responsible: JC

A new settlement for health and social care: Final report

Source:  The King’s Fund

Link to main document:

Publication format:  PDF

Date of publication: 04/09/2014

Summary of driver:

This is the final report from the Independent Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England. The report discusses the need for a simpler pathway for health and social care and proposes a new approach that redesigns care around individual needs regardless of diagnosis, with a graduated increase in support as needs rise, particularly towards the end of life. The commission has concluded that this vision for a health and care system fit for the 21st century is affordable and sustainable if a phased approach is taken and hard choices are taken about taxation.

Key features of driver:

  • Creation of a system of care that works better and more appropriately for individuals
  • Acknowledgment that additional funding (private or public) is required to maintain strong and continuing focus on NHS productivity. This includes proposed changes to National Insurance contributions and the commission favours public funding.
  • A more integrated service which is easier to navigate for all concerned.
  • Better integration of health and social care needs and more equal support for equal need (making much more social care free at the point of use)
  • Move towards a single ring-fenced budget with a single commissioner for local services

Primary audience: All those with an interest in healthcare (commissioners, providers, central and local Government)

Impact on library policy/practice: None as such but this report provides a useful overview to library staff about the wide ranging impact of the work involved in moving towards a new way of funding for health and social care.

Date last updated: September 2014

Due for review:  04/09/2015

Group member responsible: LK