Although the CQC has it’s own definition of ‘effective’, which I will come to shortly, essentially it means that the service is achieving what it sets out to do, which (hopefully) is focused around providing the possible quality of care, treatment and life for people who use the service.
At this point I need to utter a word of caution: a service can be very effective and yet still be totally failing its service users. In other words, it can be very good at what it does, but this is not a lot of good if what it does is not in the best interests of the people who use its service. This is why the other four aspects (domains) of quality are so important, because it is only when all five domains are at a high level of quality that the service can be deemed to be operating in the best interests of the people who use it.
Exercise: what does an ‘effective’ service look like?
Before going any further I would like you to list six key characteristics of what you think would be an ‘effective’ service. Remember, as with all these exercises, there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers, but it is important to reflect upon why you chose these particular characteristics. It would also be helpful, as we will be coming back to this shortly, to start thinking about how you would provide evidence for these particular characteristics.
I would then like you to think about whether you can say, in all honesty, whether these characteristics apply to your particular service or services. In other words, can you really say, hand on heart, that yours is an effective service? If not, what is the one thing that you could do to make it more effective?