OUTSTANDING SOCIETY: Achieving an Outstanding in ‘Safe’

ZFry (002)

With less than 0.5% of homes currently rated Outstanding in ‘Safe’ KLOE, Director of the Outstanding Society, Zoe Fry, asks what does ‘safe’ look like?

The past year has been an exceptional year for managing risk and ensuring everyone in our care along with our staff and visitors are kept safe.

Recent comments from inspectors on two homes achieving Outstanding in Safe read:

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“People were safe because a safety culture was embedded at the service. Staff had exceptional skills in managing and reducing risk whilst promoting people to lead fulfilling lives and minimise restrictions on their freedom.”

“The theme of ‘safe’ was at the heart of the home and people’s safety had been considered in every way.”

Medications management, staffing levels and being well-led are also key to achieving an Outstanding in Safe.

It is also important to recognise that things can sometimes go wrong but the focus is what lessons you have learned and what improvements you have made to prevent it happening again.

Being innovative in how you care for your staff can also help you manage risk and achieve a Good or Outstanding in Safe. If staff are well cared for, listened to and their physical and mental wellbeing are considered, the workforce will be healthier and happier leading to safer care for your residents.

A recurring theme in all guidance in relation to COVID-19 is that it is the manager’s responsibility to reduce risk in the home and make decisions in particular in relation to PPE and visiting.

The responsibility prior to COVID-19 on registered managers was already significant so we now need to explore ways to make more joint decisions, involving as many stakeholders as you can, including your residents, staff, relatives, healthcare professionals, LAs and PHE.

Make the decisions together and while working through these don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ and explore the options, gather information then reconvene to take the process forward.

This may mean delaying implementing new guidance, eg changing the visiting structure for your home. Explaining the reason for delaying the process while you are working through the options will enable you to make a collective decision based around the risk to all concerned.

Never have we seen so much sharing of best practice and problem solving within the care sector and long may it continue.

The Outstanding Society would love to facilitate more sharing amongst providers over the coming year and also celebrate best practice to help others on the road to a Good or Outstanding rating.

Our monthly meetings on the third Thursday of every month at 1-2:30pm focus on topical issues for managers and directors. Our May meeting focused on risk and achieving a Good or Outstanding in Safe with our June meeting focusing on topical issues with our keynote speaker Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive, Care England, and a specialist speaker for gaining tax relief from research and development (R&D) in care homes. Using R&D also leads to innovation and providing outstanding care within your care setting.

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