BREAKING NEWS: Recruitment and retention key to care home turnarounds, CQC finds

The recruitment and retention of high quality staff is key to turning around failing care homes, a CQC report has found.

In its new report, Driving Improvement, the CQC examined how nine adult social care services went from Inadequate to Good.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said: “Our Driving Improvement publication shares the experiences of those who have been able to transform the care they deliver to explain how that journey of improvement can happen. My hope is that people running or working in care services rated as Inadequate or Requires Improvement can use these case studies as practical guidance to improve for the benefit of the people they support and care for.”

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The case studies provide an honest insight from a wide range of people – including those who use services, their families and carers, staff, managers, directors, chief executives and other professionals – describing how it felt to be rated as Inadequate, what impact this had, the challenges they had to overcome and how they got back on track.

The recruitment and retention of capable, valued and supported staff emerged as a key theme in the case studies. The value of a good leader was found to be a key with a new manager being introduced to deliver improvements in most of the homes. The stability of leadership was also shown to be important with having enough staff to deliver safe and deliver services also crucial.

“While establishing a more stable staff foundation was important, tightening recruitment processes helped make sure that new staff coming in were suitable, and improved induction policies led to staff being better prepared,” the report said.

There was a lack of training and staff appraisals at poor performing providers with improvements in these areas paying dividends.

Andrea added: “Key lessons we have seen from the case studies include understanding and accepting that problems exist; creating a clear vision to improve and putting that into action; appointing strong leaders who can establish an open and transparent culture where improvement can truly thrive; and focusing on developing a workforce that is valued, well trained and supported to deliver safe, effective person-centred care.

“But we’re not saying that improvement is easy. Pressure on resources, increasing demands and workforce shortages mean these are challenging times for adult social care. Providers and their staff have a responsibility to deliver good care – but commissioners, funders and national bodies and the health and care system as a whole has a responsibility to work together to help create the environment that makes this possible.”

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