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Care Standards and Community Support

Posted September 2nd 2020 by Leon

Blog header: Care standards and community support.

Care Standards and community support

It’s natural to want to know when we are doing a good job – to keep doing what works and get better at the bits that we can improve. It is also natural to want to show other people you are doing a good job and get recognition and respect for it.

Over the past 2 years the Care Inspectorate and Health Improvement Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government, worked with people who use social care services and families. Together, they came up with a set of principles than underpin all the standards for particular types of regulated health and social care. You can find out more about the new care standards here.

From the outset it was intended that these new care standards could be used by people providing care or support that was not a regulated service, such as micro enterprises that didn’t employ staff, peer support groups and community groups such as lunch clubs. People could choose to make a Pledge to meet the principles, and then show how they reflected the same good practice standards as other types of care and support providers. This could then show people getting support and their families that it is a good service, and also show HSCP staff that it is good value for money as part of the services they pay for.

Outside the Box began working with some people who are working in these situations in Perth and Kinross, Aberdeenshire and Highland. It is no coincidence that these places have big rural areas – finding care services is a huge challenge for many people living in outlying areas across Scotland.

Then Covid happened, and we realised that this approach could be useful for many community groups that were expanding what they did to support older people and others in their communities. So we included work on the Pledge as part of Committed to Good Support project that has been funded by the Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities Fund.

We now have:

· A poster with the Principles

· A self-assessment tool, to let people check how well their pre-Covid and Covid response activities reflect the standards and where some training or development will help

· A guide on how to use this, including getting someone else to validate an assessment such as 2 groups being the sounding board for each other.

· They are all on the Outside the Box website as part of the Committed to Good Support resources.

This is what we’ve been hearing so far from the range of people and groups using the Standards Pledge:

· Some people are using the poster with the list of principles as a training tool, for example with volunteers who have come to help with Covid responses.

· Having the principles in an easy to see place is a useful reminder about the impacts of what people do and why their service or activities matters.

· Some people have used the self-assessment checklist and found it does show what is going well and where they need a bit more training.

· It is easy to understand and use.

· It prompted people to see other supports they could offer – such as small extensions of what they do, or work they could do with a partner group to benefit more people

· For some people it is not adding anything to the standards and assessments they already have to do in their professional roles, so they have decided they will use, and remind other people about, those professional good practice standards.

The next steps

We are now working with the Care Inspectorate and Health Improvement Scotland on ways to find out whether this approach gives people who get support and others, including staff in public services doing care assessments, the reassurance that these services are doing a good job.

We are planning information and discussion sessions about this work over the autumn. Please get in touch if you want more information or to have a conversation about it.

Contact: Anne Connor

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