Case Studies

Hear from organisations that have recently been through the QSF accreditation process.

 

 

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

 

Dudley Telecare Service (DTS), funded by Dudley Council, works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to keep people in their homes. The 35-year-old service works across adult social care, housing, the police and fire service and runs the council’s out-of-hours service. Accredited by TSA for the last 10 years, it has more than 10,000 connections and a large staff team.

 

The Accreditation Decision

For DTS manager, Karen Bridgewater, the greatest asset of TSA’s Quality Standards Framework (QSF) is that it gives those being audited a chance to involve staff, managers and partners in an ongoing assessment of service quality and development.

 

QSF gives the opportunity to every member of staff, whatever they do, to have a greater share in its success and get stories out there.’

 

After informing all staff about the QSF, Karen held a planning day, broke each module up into different tasks and gave staff ownership of individual tasks. When they came back together they discussed the evidence they had, what they needed and what wasn’t required. She then had meetings with the chief officer, head of service and the senior management team, creating a ‘golden thread’ of engagement and understanding throughout the entire staff team.

 

The impact was that we had a voice.

 

It was an opportunity for each staff member to reflect on what makes a good service, and to consider their role in developing the service. The QSF supports that process because auditors arrive having already assessed pre-submitted evidence and having thought about their role in helping the service move forward.

 

The Process

On the day of the audit there was a clear timetable including an opportunity for auditors to talk with a partner from the police, the head of service and the chief officer. When it came to discussions with frontline workers, Karen left staff and volunteers alone with the auditors so they felt they could be open and honest.

 

We were able to demonstrate good practice and say this is our service. This is what we are doing. It is similar to an NVQ in that it is about practice and evidencing and the evidence has meaning.’

 

The QSF is a world away from the old Code of Practice (CoP), she says. It isn’t about the subjective view of a single auditor which can leave staff despondent; it isn’t about spending huge amounts of time collecting the right bits of paper; it isn’t about showing what you can achieve with a large budget; and it isn’t about showcasing your good points and brushing the rest under the carpet in the hope that the auditors won’t notice. It is about reaching for excellence on the day of the audit, and every day.

 

‘If you value your service, its clients and staff and want to instil a culture of continuous improvement then you have to be open and honest and the auditors have to ask probing and relevant questions. The integrity of the process is a two way street.’

 

Benefits

• Establishes the principle that everyone is involved in making the service as good as it can be and instils or strengthens protocols for collaborative working, establishing the terms on which you go forward.

• Used effectively, the QSF is a starting point for staff and service development.

• An assessment of your strengths makes you better at selling yourself to partner organisations, peers and clients.

• Confidence about your strengths makes you more motivated to develop as an organisation, and less threatened about addressing issues.

• External recognition and a chance to show what they are achieving is good for staff morale.

• You are in control.

 

‘Quality to me is about meeting the minimum standards then increasing to the maximum standard. If, as a service, you want to reach for excellence then you need a quality framework to work on.’

 

 

Karen Bridgewater will be speaking about Dudley Telecare Service’s experiences of the QSF at TSA’s International Technology Enabled Care Conference, which takes place from 16-17 October 2017.