Developing the care audit

A workshop took place last Monday to give a range of key stakeholders from the care and support sector, working at local and national levels, the opportunity to discuss and shape the development of the care audit pilot announced in July’s Caring for our future White Paper.

Clinical audit is extensively used in the NHS to help healthcare providers to deliver safe, effective, efficient care and to help improve the overall care experience for individuals. The proposed ‘care audit’ pilot will test whether a nationally-supported audit approach, if built on existing quality assurance methods and suitably adapted for the sector, could help providers of care and support to improve the quality of their care in specific areas.

The pilot will develop a nationally-agreed audit tool that:

  • will be available for residential and nursing care home providers to use, on a voluntary basis, from 2014
  • will build on the evidence base for quality dementia care, as set out in the new NICE Quality Standard for social care pilot, for the care of people with dementia in social care settings
  • is also likely to incorporate elements of other well-recognised and used quality assurance schemes for dementia care in those settings.

The pilot will test whether providers will be willing and able to adopt national audit tools and methods, and whether they help providers to deliver better care, efficiencies and an improved care experience.

The care audit workshop raised discussion about the types and volume of audit and quality assurance activity currently taking place in the care and support sector, and about how that needs to be considered and built into the development of the care audit pilot.

Workshop attendees were also provided with an update on the progress of the NICE Quality Standard for social care pilot. This aims to support people to live well with dementia, by helping providers of dementia care services to better identify and understand where and how they can improve the care they provide. The NICE Quality Standard is currently out for consultation and you can feed in your views until 5pm on 16th October.

We will publish a full report of the workshop in November. It will summarise key feedback made by delegates on the day and will set out the next steps in light of that feedback. In the meantime, you can hear from three of the workshop’s guest speakers – Sharon Blackburn from the National Care Forum, Val Moore from NICE, and Amanda Edwards from the Social Care Institute of Excellence – in the videos below.

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