The Department of Health is launching new online profiles for every registered care and support provider to the public in April 2013, alongside information and advice to help people understand, choose and compare their local care and support options.
People will be encouraged to use these new provider profiles on the NHS Choices website to help narrow down their search for good quality, registered care that meets their personal needs and preferences. The profiles are a major step in enabling people to make more informed and confident choices about care for themselves or family members.
Registered care providers will be able to use their profiles to tell people what makes their service special and how their support can improve someone’s quality of life.
Providers can use this search to find their existing profile on the website. The profiles are extremely basic at the moment, but providers have an excellent opportunity to add, for free, a range of information to promote their care service on one of the most visited websites in the UK. NHS Choices currently receives over 19 million visits per month.
If you are a care provider, you can use your profile to:
- give people a taste of what your organisation offers and of what makes you special.
- show how your support could enhance someone’s life, and provide details about the services you offer – for example, whether you provide specialised care for dementia sufferers if you provide residential care, or whether you provide live-in care services if you provide homecare.
- tell people about the quality of care you provide using new Transparency and Quality Compact measures agreed by care and support providers – for example how you perform on pressure care management in a residential care home or scheduled visits taking place on time for a homecare agency.
- show people how proud you are of your staff and why.
- provide useful practical details on things such as visiting times and menu options.
From April, the provider profiles will also include comments by users of services, their families and carers, which have either been left on NHS Choices or other feedback websites which meet strict moderation criteria. This genuine customer feedback will further help people make decisions about their care.
What do care providers need to do now?
The Department of Health is finalising the new care and support provider area of the NHS Choices website and accompanying guidance now. From 7 March the website will be ready for you to add your organisation’s details.
Please look out for further information that will follow in early March, which will include resources and advice to help you complete and make the most of your online profile. You can however get ready for the 7 March now by registering your organisation:
- Visit the ‘Your pages’ area of the NHS Choices website, which has further details about the profiles and about how you can easily request editing access.
- Or, email NHS Choices direct to request editing access: provide your full name, email address, job title, contact number and postcode for each care organisation profile you would like to manage.
- Important note: if your care service is part of a larger organisation or operates from several sites, please contact your head office before requesting editing access.
Transparency and Quality Compact measures
The Government has worked with care and support providers and their representatives to develop a set of Transparency and Quality Compact measures. Providers can choose to complete and add these to their profiles to tell people about more detailed aspects of the quality of their care. The list of quality measures is:
- staff stability
- staff training
- falls (residential and nursing care only)
- pressure care (residential and nursing care only)
- medication management (residential and nursing care only)
- scheduled visits taking place (homecare only)
- timeliness of visits (homecare only)
So far, quality measures have been agreed for residential and homecare services for older people. We now want to work with providers to develop similar measures for other types of care, such as Shared Lives or supported living.
People have told us that they want to be able to compare care providers quickly, as well as having the option to find out more. The Secretary of State has asked the Nuffield Trust to carry out a review to consider whether aggregate ratings of provider performance should be used in health, and care and support, and if so how best this might be done. The Nuffield Trust is expected to report back to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, by the end of March 2013. If quality ratings are developed, this information would also be included on each provider’s profile alongside more detailed information about the care and support they offer.
Useful documents for care providers:
Care provider user guide
Online provider profiles FAQs
Transparency and quality compact measures – provider guide