Frequently Asked Questions
Consult this area to find out the answers to any questions you might have concerning the Driving Up Quality Code.
Q. Why should I sign up to the Driving Up Quality Code?
A. The Code is the provider sector's action in response to the horrors of Winterbourne View. What we saw happen there was inexcusable, and represented a very poor quality of care, support, and therefore of life for the individuals that lived there. What provider would ever want to condone that quality of service? So what provider would not want to commit to something that aims to give people quality of life beyond the minimum standards? There is no subscription fee, only a commitment to drive up the quality of life experienced by individuals who use care and support services. Surely all good providers want this.
Q. I’ve recently received an email saying my account may be marked as “suspended”. Why has this happened?
A. This has happened because your organization signed up to the Code at least 12 months ago, and you have not linked any reports of activity related to the Code to your sign up page on the Driving Up Quality website. The commitment that providers make when they sign up is to report on a self-assessment process at least once every 12 months.
Q. I’ve been asked to add a link to our report by the end of the month to avoid a suspension notice but we are a large organisation and our report is still being pulled together and written up and won’t be ready by then. What can I do?
A. You can write a brief update, outlining what you have done, and who was involved, along with when you will have your full report posted up, and post that on your website in the area you have allocated to the Driving Up Quality Code. Then link that to your account on our website against the heading “self assessment” and your account will not have a suspension notice added. We understand that it takes time to undertake a good self-assessment process in a large organisation, but we need to see some activity being reported to meet the 12-month reporting commitment.
Q. What should my self-assessment report look like?
A. There are a whole range of styles to be found amongst the large number of reports now linked to the sign up pages on our website.They range from minutes of meetings to easy read versions. There is no right or wrong way of reporting, but it is worth asking yourself a few questions:
(1) Does it describe who we involved in the process? (Those using the service, family members, commissioners, front line staff, trustees/board members, managers)
(2) Does it describe how we carried out the self-assessment? (Face to face meeting, surveys, interviews)
(3) Are your findings presented as though someone has sat down and used the self-assessment tool as a checklist, evidencing how you meet each statement? (This can make it seem as though you have not consulted all stakeholders, or sought a range of views about the quality of your service.)
(4) Have you included some quotes from the stakeholders involved in the process? (Good or bad, quotes make your report more interesting to read, and convince the reader that you have undertaken an inclusive process. Use a range.)
(5) Have you included an action plan, with timescales, for the areas that are still challenging you? (No provider is perfect, so a report without identified challenges is not very convincing, and can suggest that you haven’t looked too closely at what you do. Or you haven’t listened to all stakeholders’ views)
Q. We have discovered that we have a number of areas where our service is not as good as we had hoped. Do we have to include these findings in our report?
A. One of the fundamental principles of the Code commitment is transparency. No provider can offer the perfect service to everyone all of the time. Families and commissioners realise this, so are not very convinced by a provider who claims that everything is perfect. They have more trust in providers who are open and honest about the challenges, because it means they have bothered to take a serious look at what they offer, from everyone's perspective, and are willing to strive to improve.
Q. What are the benefits to the provider of signing up to the Code?
A. We are beginning to see examples where the use of the Code has been a contributing factor to achieving an “outstanding” rating from CQC.
The Fundamental Standards and regulations now use Quality as a measure of improvement, and inspectors are looking for providers to show they are strong in listening to, responding to, and changing services according to the service user's voice. The Code, if used effectively, can demonstrate this well. The open and transparent reporting commitment can demonstrate a Duty of Candour that is soon to be a requirement for all providers.