You will, no doubt, already have a range of tools and techniques to monitor and promote quality within your service. Questionnaires, audits and other feedback tools will provide you with valuable information on how others rate your service and suggestions on how you can continue to improve the care that you offer.
However, this information is often only accessible to a limited number of staff working within a service, typically the senior management team and, in most cases, it is these individuals alone who decide how it will be used and what measures will be taken to improve quality.
Involving other staff in this process can bring real benefits – read on to find out more about involving your team in quality improvement decisions and how a whole team approach can revitalise your approach to quality.
Within every service, there will be a team with wide ranging and varied experience – based on working in different organisations, in different settings and with different service user types. Each team member will have unique experiences and ideas that they can share, in order to help solve problems and bring forward new suggestions. Using your staff team to work together on the feedback you receive will bring fresh ideas and a more diverse range of opinions than you would find within your senior team alone.
Developing champions groups to work on specific areas of quality is an excellent way to involve staff, promote ownership of problems and encourage the involvement and input of your whole staff team. Each group can contain a mix of staff from different teams, e.g. care, housekeeping, administration or catering, to provide a range of perspectives, break down barriers and encourage team working. Champions groups can be used to develop as many, or as few, areas as you feel appropriate but, in every case, can bring a fresh approach and new life to your quality improvement processes.
3 Champions Groups to Bring a Whole Team Approach to Quality
- Nutrition. As one of the most significant areas of care, involving a wide range of staff, nutrition is perhaps the most obvious champions group to develop and provides an excellent opportunity to bring together different teams and, potentially, service users as well. By reviewing formal feedback, along with observations from mealtimes and comments from individual service users, improvements can be made to nutritional quality, food choices and all aspects of the overall dining experience.
- Dignity. Although a national Dignity Champions campaign is already well established, having a joined up approach to dignity, by meeting regularly to review evidence and discuss the observations and experience of staff members, will encourage a shared approach and enable important information about dignity to be cascaded throughout the wider staff team. A wide staff membership also allows information to be communicated in a range of styles to meet the needs of different staff members.
- End of Life Care. In many cases, feedback on end of life care is limited to the comments received in a thank you card, following the death of a service user. Bringing together staff to review the end of life experience in a more holistic way, including seeking more detailed feedback from family members and other professionals, can be a valuable tool to learning what went well and what could be improved upon in the future.
Find out what the best care service providers are doing across England: read Care Quality Matters for the best advice on all aspects of the Registered Manager’s role.