With a renewed focus on quality assurance in light of recent inspection results, it’s time local authorities looked to the cause rather than the symptoms.
HCL Social Care managing director Stephen Hockey points out whilst a number of authorities have attempted to tackle inspection shortfalls, long term effectiveness can vary and when regulating bodies such as Ofsted revisit, oversights mean senior and middle managers ultimately pay the price.
“The question we should be asking is not how authorities can get files signed off as quickly as possible but how they can implement an end-to-end process to ensure their department is running safely and efficiently as well as casework being up-to-date in preparation for inspection.” Mr Hockey said.
Currently, the majority of local authorities either utilise their own QA departments or look externally for auditors or full project teams to clear department backlogs. Recommendations are made by these teams in the short term but responsibility for embedding these recommendations can be vague at best, and when the team or individual moves on from the assignment, more often than not this results in a return to a substandard practice.
“We believe HCL’s specialist candidates can be the key to quality assurance for local authorities. These individuals have the necessary experience and knowledge to provide tailored recommendations, and by using the same individuals or teams to undertake the second stage mentoring process, authorities can be confident of a standard, long term practice being embedded into their department. Most importantly, this means safe and efficient operation of services.”
- For optimal quality assurance, a full file audit should be undertaken by an experienced individual who then has the responsibility to educate and mentor team managers and social workers on arising issues and implement robust audit tools and systems to effect change
- This individual must have the ability and experience to provide honest feedback to senior management of any issues found along with delivering an overview of how service is actually functioning, which enables the council to resolve any residual issues effectively
- Interaction between the individual and team managers and care workers should instill confidence and educate why the audit is taking place. Team managers and social workers in turn will ensure the consistent delivery of improvements and assist their teams in addressing the root causes of any poor practice and make sure they are able to continue the mentoring process as part of the supervision process.
“From our perspective, our absolute priority is to ensure the candidates we supply for these roles are not only able to demonstrate the above skill set but also ensure a positive legacy within the services they operate. This increases their own marketability and reputation whilst addressing the fundamental needs of our clients.”
For any further information, contact HCL Communications and PR Manager Laura Ackland on +44 (0) 207 451 1448.
About HCL plc
HCL plc, headquartered in London, was formed in 2003 and is a leading provider of staffing solutions in the health and social care sectors within our chosen markets. HCL supply over 2,000 temporary and permanent doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, qualified social workers and administration & clerical staff to public and private sectors every week. We are an international company with offices in UK and Australia and recruitment drives in Europe. For more information please visit our website at www.hclplc.com, view our facebook page or follow us on twitter @HCLplc