2.1 Indicators for quality in homecare delivery
These indicators relate equally to all homecare services, to people of all ages and in all situations.
2.2 People who use services and family carers
Extensive research exists which shows what people receiving homecare and their families and carers value in a homecare service. These quality indicators draw on this research and on feedback from people using homecare services, staff and providers.
UKHCA member organisations should strive at all times to deliver a service that is tailored to the individual's needs and aspirations, is delivered reliably and in the way he or she prefers. Specifically, a service which:
- Promotes wellbeing and is delivered in the way the person using the service prefers.
- Encourages independence and the development of skills, techniques and confidence to enable self-care.
- Is centred on the individual, acknowledges his or her preferences and aspirations and respects their right to change.
- Is reliable, with services delivered when expected, and with prior notification when things do not happen as planned.
- Allows sufficient time for care to be provided in a way which is safe, respectful and protects the person's dignity.
- Respects the person's home and chosen way of life.
- Recognises and supports the contribution of others around the person, such as family and friends and encourages them to access external support for themselves where this is available.
- Promotes the person's dignity and respects their emotional and social needs and aspirations.
- Signposts to other support, or helps the person to access it, where appropriate.
- Is delivered by a consistent, small number of skilled workers whom the person knows.
- Is supported by good communication between the person, the homecare worker, family carers and managers of the service.
- Wherever possible involves good communication between the member, commissioners of care and other agencies involved with the person.
- Is flexible and innovative to meet people's needs.
- Learns from mistakes and shortcomings; deals with them appropriately and uses the information to improve the service.
- Delivers what has been agreed.
2.3 Staff across the whole organisation
There is also a good bank of knowledge from research and feedback about what staff need in order to give their best.
UKHCA members should strive at all times to provide an employment environment which includes:
- Good employment practice, including fair terms and conditions of employment.
- Rewarding employment, so that staff feel valued.
- Good quality and appropriate induction, training and support, so that staff feel confident in their work.
- Opportunities for staff to develop skills further; either generally, or in relation to specific conditions or situations.
- Good ongoing supervision, support and coaching.
- Good and reliable communication between staff and managers.
- Recording and reporting systems which enhance quality of care, but are not constraining or overly time-consuming.
- Staff recruited for their values, respected for their caring, professional attitudes and behaviours and celebrated for their excellent caring.
- Promotion at all times of the safety of the staff at work, the person using the service and third parties.
- Facilitation of the identification of poor practice, for instance, through whistleblowing and appropriate, swift and proportionate handling of reports.
- Evidence that compliments, complaints and whistleblowing reports lead to organisational reflection, learning and service improvement involving staff.
A crucial issue in the development and availability of high quality homecare is raising awareness and public under- standing of the existence, nature, contribution and value of care in the home.
UKHCA members should strive to enhance public understanding and confidence by:
- Advertising services in ways that are accurate and positive.
- Promoting the value of homecare to the individual, their family and society as a whole at every opportunity and countering negative publicity for example with accurate facts and positive views of people who use services).
- Notifying UKHCA if specific negative publicity is anticipated, so that there can be a sector-wide response and dealing with such publicity in an open, honest and forthright way for the benefit of the public and the sector as a whole.
- Demonstrating a willingness to work collaboratively with others for the benefit of the local and wider community.
- Publicising the commercial contribution of homecare in terms of economic value (including to the NHS) and the creation of employment opportunities.
- Seeking and taking opportunities to promote the value and status of those working in homecare with local and national government as well as with the public and the media.
- Sharing good practice with and through UKHCA as appropriate.
- Actively participating in UKHCA-led campaigning and media initiatives on behalf of members and of homecare generally when requested.