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Ten years of Right at Home UK: Head of quality and compliance on the route to ‘Outstanding’

Simon Osborne Head of Quality and Compliance

As Right at Home UK marks ten years of award-winning home care, head of Quality and Compliance, Simon Osborne contemplates finding the path to delivering ‘Outstanding’ home care.

Excellent quality care, or ‘Outstanding’ care, as the regulator would describe it, should be every home care provider’s top priority, and it certainly is at Right at Home UK. One of our key areas of focus is working with our UK-wide network of 70 franchises to help them achieve that Outstanding CQC rating, or the equivalent in Scotland and Wales. Today, on our 10 year anniversary, 34% of our inspected services in England have reached that level.

We have achieved this by really focusing on the people we support and understanding their individual needs, and our success is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our caregivers.

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Looking ahead to the next 10 years of delivering care, one question remains: how do we get all our offices up to ‘Outstanding’?

What is ‘Outstanding’ care?

Delivering ‘Outstanding’ care is no easy feat. Safeguarding, risk management, sufficient staff numbers, robust clinical management, infection prevention and control, and a range of other factors play a part. On the rare occasion that things go wrong, openness, transparency and learnings must help put things right again.

Our national office, franchise owners and registered managers demand only the best of each other, in terms of best practice, advice and the oversight it takes to monitor the quality of our care. This mutual support is something we work to enforce across the business, which in turn helps deliver the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Building up the expertise and headcount of our national office has played a crucial part in this. In the last 12 months alone, we increased staff numbers by 26% to provide a sector-leading ratio of one national office colleague to every three franchise owners. This means we have centralised support for every franchise in our network, with a view to covering key areas such as business support, quality assurance and compliance on demand.

It is our belief that providing consistent support, and the skills and expertise our teams need, enabled us to gain our first ‘Outstanding’ rating back in February 2018, when Right at Home South Cheshire achieved this fantastic milestone.

In 2020, our collective efforts culminated in the fantastic achievement of 27% of our franchises achieving an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating. July 2021 saw this increase to 34%, despite an unprecedented pandemic which had a devastating impact across most of the sector.

Empowering our colleagues

Part of the reason for this success is our franchise model. We empower leaders who live and breathe their local communities. They understand the role of the franchise offices within them, often hosting events or activities, such as dementia coffee mornings, which help community members understand the experiences of those who need care.

A great example of this would be Alastair Shanks, franchise owner of Right at Home Guildford and Farnham. He has helped found multiple community initiatives, including Singing for the Mind, Love to Move and Sunflower Cafes, to shine a spotlight on issues like dementia and improve support for those who need care. These initiatives have helped make around 1500 dementia friends, people who can help with awareness-raising for the disease in the community.

During the pandemic, the franchise recruited over 170 volunteers to shop for people on a weekly basis, many of whom would cook and deliver a festive meal for over 100 people who were self-isolating at Christmas.

Recruiting the right people helps, too. One of our CareGivers, Carol Green, worked as a paramedic before coming to work for Right at Home; she wanted to help support people who would be vulnerable without care.

Training and development are a vital part of the support our garegivers and local administrators receive. Whatever the area of expertise, we help them understand how to master it, whether planning visits (and ensuring they meet our ‘No 15-Minute Visit’ rule), reviewing support plans or, critically, understanding what it takes to meet Key Lines of Enquiry, criteria used by the Care Quality Commission in their inspections.

Being ‘Outstanding’ across the board

Our network is growing. We have plans to expand further into Wales and Scotland, where we will support colleagues with bespoke tools and processes to work with the different regulatory environments and their respective inspection methodologies. Investing in our people and remembering our focus on Clients’ needs are all part of our growth and maintaining the best standards of care, whether in England, Wales or Scotland.

At the moment, 34% of our English inspected franchises are rated ‘Outstanding’. We do not plan to stop until all our franchises are well known for delivering care that makes a real difference to our clients every day.

Tags : Right at HomeSimon Osborne
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke