Here’s a guest blog from Simon Taylor (email@example.com), who supports our micro-enterprise members, about the Care Quality Commission’s domiciliary care report, ‘Not just a number’:
As Shared Lives Plus’ micro-enterprise development officer I have attended CQC’s group which supported them with the recent themed inspection into domiciliary care. The report ‘Not just a number’, published on 13th February 2013, reflects that collaborative approach and it was good to see that a range of traditional and new techniques being used in the inspections, including using surveys and expert witnesses to engage with people who live remotely from a service’s office base. They have gathered a really rounded picture of each provider and delivered a very informed report, covering 250 domiciliary care agencies providing at-home support to around 26,500 people.
As part of the inspection, CQC inspected a small number of micro-enterprises alongside their larger counterparts. The breakdowns of results by size of provider suggests that smaller providers are better than their larger counterparts in almost all measures, including respecting and involving people who use services; how providers assess and monitor the quality of the services they deliver; and the quality of care and welfare of people who use services. Smaller agencies also provided the most personalised support. An area where micro-enterprises struggled more than larger providers was in supporting their staff.
At Shared Lives Plus and our sister organisation Community Catalysts, we have recognised the strength of being small in our members for many years, but it’s good that this unbiased and objective report recognises that the scale at which a service is delivered is important. Being rooted in a community and able to work closely with people who use a service in development and delivery can be all important.