04.07.2014: Implementing the Driving Up Quality Code - a service point of view

An article from CMG by Sophie Hare (Deputy Manager)of CMG’s Kings Road service in Hampshire


We were first introduced to the Driving Up Quality code through company training. John (Manager of Kings Road) and I were already passionate about the quality of the service and day-to-day, as a team, make every effort to evaluate and provide an outstanding service; as a result the self assessment was defiantly something we were considering.  We received a visit from our CEO Peter Kinsey who likes to visit the service and speak with the people we support, I mentioned that we were interested in looking at doing our self assessment soon and Peter was pleased to hear this and asked how soon we could do it!


The beginning and completing a self assessment

We used the information provided on the Driving Up Quality website to start thinking about how to complete our self assessment.  We had a look at some of the other self assessments that had been completed and picked out things that we liked and those we were not so keen on.  We then made a bullet point list of things we wanted to include.


We were certain that we wanted to make the assessment engaging, using photographs and evidence that currently fill our bright and homely service and that we all enjoy looking at and remembering.


We decided to focus on one area of the Code and explore it in as much detail as possible using as much evidence as we could find, with a view to do this for each of the areas over time.


Firstly, we sat down and had a meeting with the people we support and some of the staff that support them; we asked for their thoughts and comments on some of the areas we had initially made bullet points on.  You will see throughout our self assessment quotations from a number of people and which arose during this time.


Stakeholder and parents views are also important to us. We included comments from our recent CQC inspection to support areas we were looking at and this included thoughts from parents and external care services that we work with.


We thoroughly enjoyed completing the self-assessment.  We are proud to tell people about the support we offer at Kings Road and the things we all work together to achieve.  To be honest, the areas we felt required improvement were not new to us, they been things that we have discussed and were already thinking about ways to improve on them.  What was beneficial from the process however was to put the improvements into an ‘action plan’ and for us, to now be able to measure the outcome and publish the changes as they happen.


We worked closely with Tom, who is CMG’s marketing assistant, throughout the process. He has provided us with great support getting our document up and running and overcoming some of the technical hitches of getting the document ‘web-ready’. Tom is currently in the process of designing an optional ‘self assessment template’ to make this process easier for other services wishing to do the same.


Self Assessments Workshop – You can do it too!

Following the completion and publication of our self assessment we were delighted to be asked to host a workshop at our annual Registered Mangers Conference.  It was important to us to emphasise to the Mangers that attended the workshop that ‘actually’ carrying out the self assessment was generally what we do as good practice in our own internal annual quality audits.


Within the workshop, candidates had time to choose a key area and honestly reflect (with their own service in mind) on things that they are proud about and things that they could improve on.  People were very open about improvements they would like make and with good initiatives combined candidates came away with many ideas to move forward with.


We wanted people to go away from the workshop feeling that this was something that was achievable, knowing the constraints that managers face. We explained that the work they had carried out in the workshop on the day was actually the building blocks of their own self-assessment. As part of the process Managers were invited to make an optional ‘pledge’ to complete a self assessment in their service, in total the workshops generated 32 ‘optional’ pledges.


We hope that the 32 pledges will develop into more self-assessments being completed within CMG services.  John and I are keen, where possible, to keep in touch with people in the process and offer support and guidance if necessary.


Moving forward

Moving forward for Kings Road we will continue to work on the actions established from our self assessment on area 1 ‘support is focused on the person’ and look forward to completing a second key area by the end of the year.  We have considered looking at key area 2 considering ‘ordinary and meaningful lives’ especially in light of rolling out new changes at Kings Road by dramatically reviewing and removing restrictions within the service.


We are delighted with the outcomes of having completed our self assessment and look forward to providing updates on the areas that we considered requiring improvements following our self reflection.  We also look forward to developing our assessment further by increasing and evolving more existing and new staff members, views of the people we support and of course further family and stakeholder involvement.


        Kings Road, Hampshire


You can view the self assessment completed by Kings Road on their
Driving Up Quality page here
: click here


CMG have also completed a companywide self assessment and produced a report as well as a video overview of the day, both of which are available to view on our Driving Up Quality page: click here