Today CQC has joined over 100 people, organisations and national bodies with an interest in adult social care to officially mark the launch of the 'Quality matters' commitment.
‘Quality matters’ sets out a determined and shared vision on how quality care and support can be achieved and person-centred care becomes the norm for all.
This piece of work has been jointly developed to ensure that staff, providers, commissioners and funders, regulators and other national bodies all play their part in listening to and acting upon the voice of people using services, their families and carers.
Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said: “I am delighted to support the launch of the ‘Quality matters’ commitment. This is an important moment for adult social care – such a broad coalition of people and organisations coming together to focus on quality will I hope make a sustainable difference for people using services, their families and carers.
“We know that the sustainability of good quality care is precarious so it has never been more important to bring everyone who cares about social care together to make sure quality remains central to all our work.
“’Quality matters’ has been developed in collaboration and our ambitions can only succeed if we continue to work together to embed the principles we have agreed and deliver the practical actions people said they wanted to see.
“I am grateful to everyone who has been involved in the development of ‘Quality matters’ but the real work starts now. We have to make our ambitions a reality so that people using services, their families and carers, can be confident that quality really does matter.”
Clenton Farquharson, Chair of Think Local Act Personal, said: “There are so many great people who work in adult social care and quality is about what people who use services, their families and carers, tell each other it is. Through ‘Quality matters’, I want to feel confident that my mum will get great care even when I’m not there.”
Support worker, John Read, and Stuart Rowles on behalf of Learning Disability England said: “We would like to say thank you for the opportunity to be part of ‘Quality matters’. Myself, Stu and the team work hard every day to make sure what we do is best for the people we support, and getting support right requires partnership. We both feel that decisions made should always be the best and the 'just enough' is never enough.”
Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care and Mental Health said: “Every day social care positively transforms lives in our country – supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. We can be proud of the progress we are making on maintaining and improving quality but there is always more to do to address variation.
“That is why I welcome the launch of ‘Quality matters’ and endorse the priority areas for action to make a real difference for people who use services, carers, families and everyone working in the sector.”
Imelda Redmond, National Director at Healthwatch England, said: "Social care is in a fragile state but if we are going to tackle the challenges ahead we all need to work together and start to build some positive momentum.
"‘Quality matters’ is a great way for us to celebrate the excellent care that is out there and help others to make the sort of changes, big and small, that will ensure everyone gets the high quality care they deserve.
"We will be supporting the Healthwatch network to play its part, promoting the benefits of listening to feedback, learning from complaints and commissioning based on experiences as well as outcomes."
Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive at Carers UK, said: “I am delighted to be chairing the ‘Quality matters’ launch event. It is so important for people, their families and carers, to know that quality really does matter to everyone in adult social care.”
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “We have been actively involved throughout the life of ‘Quality matters’ and welcome its publication.
“People should have a voice in designing the services they receive, whether they had a good or bad experience, because their feedback can be invaluable. That’s why the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has worked with Healthwatch England to clarify the complaints process so organisations are clear and people know how to make a complaint.
“We are encouraging organisations to focus on the culture of how complaints are viewed and dealt with. This includes how their staff handle individual complaints, and how board members can have more oversight of complaints received about the services they are responsible for. We want to see care providers create a culture of quality across their whole organisation, regardless of people’s roles or responsibilities.
“As the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, we share learning from the complaints we investigate to help drive service improvements. That’s why we wholeheartedly support ‘Quality matters’ and hope it will help ensure people, and their carers, receive the quality of services they deserve.“
Margaret Willcox, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said: “ADASS believes that everyone deserves to experience high-quality, personal, dignified adult social care if they need it. We recognise that there is a lot of great care provided by dedicated leaders and staff to people in their own homes and in care homes. This was recognised in CQC’s ‘State of adult social care’ services report published last week.
“Whilst we recognise the pressure on the sector, not least the financial and workforce pressures, and continue to bring our influence to bear on these matters, we believe that more can and must be done to improve quality.
“We are delighted that so many organisations have come together to develop the ‘Quality matters’ initiative, showing a real commitment to improving the quality of services, and in turn the lives of those that use them.”
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Quality is everybody’s business and the LGA is strongly committed to support councils to deliver high-quality, safe and person-centred care and support to help our citizens.
“Despite the severe funding challenges facing adult social care, the majority of care is of a standard that we would expect for ourselves and our loved ones. We have worked closely with our national partners to develop our shared commitment to supporting local commissioners and providers to deliver care which enriches and enhances lives and supports the workforce.
“If we are to achieve the standard of care and support we all aspire to and people deserve, we urgently need a long-term settlement for care, both in terms of around the type of system we want to provide and funding.”
Sharon Allen, Chief Executive at Skills for Care, said: “Skills for Care is pleased to have supported the development of ‘Quality matters’, together with all the other partners, from the outset.Together we have created a shared vision of what high-quality care and support in our communities looks like and, more importantly, what we all need to do to achieve this.
“The adult social care workforce, including employers, leaders and managers, has a key role to play and our particular contribution is to encourage and support them to do this so that everyone who needs care and support can be confident of receiving high quality; and as importantly, everyone working to provide this can be confident of having a fulfilling and rewarding career.”