Case Study

Able Care Group

Able Care has three residential care homes in Cornwall and one in Torquay, Devon. Although all four homes received a ‘Good’ rating for their last CQC inspection, the owners, David and Jason Mcinulty, were not content simply to rest on their laurels. Instead, they wanted to ensure that all their services operated a policy of continuous improvement, and were especially keen to aim for an ‘Outstanding’ rating for their next CQC inspection.

David invited Therapeia to undertake a piece of quality assurance (QA) work for their three Cornish homes in November 2017. The aim here was to help the management teams in all three services gain a better understanding of the work of the CQC and how this linked to the wider question of QA as an ongoing process.

The work was broken down into two main aspects: a one day workshop for management staff from all three homes which gave an overview of the work of the CQC and the importance of QA; and three one day visits to each of the homes in order to show the service managers how to ‘map-out’ quality across their services.

By the end of the workshop all the participants said they now had a much better understanding of the importance of QA and how CQC inspections were part of this process. The participants were also able to share their own thoughts and experiences regarding CQC inspections. The main emphasis of the workshop was to encourage managers to adopt a ‘QA mindset’ and to think about developing and sustaining a culture of quality in their services.

The focus of the individual home visits was to introduce managers to the Self-Assessment Tool that Therapeia had developed for services to conduct their own quality assurance management on an ongoing basis. The tool is based on an Excel spreadsheet and utilises the CQC own key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) in order to collect (‘map-out’) evidence of quality across the whole service.

As a way of getting started, two KLOEs from each of the five CQC quality domains (Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well-led) were selected. Evidence from three different sources was then collected for each KLOE. By early afternoon on the individual visit days, all three service managers had mastered using the mapping tool and had collected useful evidence. They all felt that they would now be able to continue gathering evidence of quality for all the remaining KLOEs. They also said that they were thinking about QA in a completely different way prior to the visit, and that they felt more confident about the next CQC inspection.

After completion of the visits and follow-up reports David Mcinulty said: “I think it’s been a large step in the right direction though only the next round of CQC inspections will tell.”