How the Quality Improvement Tool works
Staff and service user engagement at every stage is vital to making meaningful improvements.
There are 3 main elements of QIT:
1. Quality Standards for a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service.
These break down each stage of the service user and staff journey into small bite-sized parts which are reflected in a list of explicit, strengths based and measurable statements. ‘Essential’ standards are highlighted so that they can be prioritised.
The Quality Standards are multi-functional, for example they can be used:
- In recruitment to assess candidates competency using evidence based standards;
- As part of induction and ongoing training to support staff learn the essential standards for delivering a safe and effective service and their role in this;
- As a self-assessment tool considering how practice compares to the latest policy and good practice guidance. This could be used with an individual in supervision or could be done by a whole team to assess service quality performance;
- In audit; either ad hoc or as part of CGL’s Quality Audit Cycle (more below);
- By staff, whilst actively undertaking tasks as a check list for all the composite parts, that need to be in place to deliver the best possible service user experience.
2. Quality Audit Cycle for services to objectively identify gaps or areas for improvement and measure progress made since the last audit
Every 3 months, all services undertake a set of quality audits to objectively evaluate practice in the key areas of service delivery. This is an opportunity for staff and service users, working together, to openly and honestly identify gaps or weaknesses in the service user experience.
CGL’s quality audit cycle covers the following areas:
- Risk and recovery planning
- Case Records
- Service User Involvement
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
- Health & Safety
- Incident Reporting & Investigation
- Information Security
- Learning cultures
- Governance structures
The results are captured on CGL’s service user safety software (Datix). This provides dashboards giving percentage compliance rates for each audit area so that managers can assess whether quality is improving. This information is used by teams to identify specific standards where they need to focus their improvement efforts.
Each audit is repeated every 6 months. This gives a meaningful timeframe for planning how to make improvements, implementing planned changes and evaluating the impact.
3. Quality Plans and Toolkits to support quality improvement
The ‘intelligence’ gained from the audits is used to develop a Service Quality Improvement Plan. This is designed to be an overarching plan, owned by staff and service users, which is values based and service user focused. Its impact is maximised through concentrating on a small number of high impact outcomes.
A number of supporting tools have been produced in conjunction with service users and staff to help with quality improvement, including:
- Top tips
- One page information bulletins on key papers and organisational learning
- Training materials, for example bite-sized learning products