Those who have signed up to the Social Care Commitment are starting to see the positive impact it can have on the quality of care they deliver and the training and development of their staff.
The commitment – which involves signing up to a series of ‘I will…’ statements and tasks that put those statements into practice – is a Department of Health initiative that has been developed by the sector so that it is fit for purpose and makes a real difference to those signing up. The statements focus on the key issues that are important to all care providers, including recruitment, induction and retention of staff, and equality and diversity.
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb has called for “every employer and every employee working in adult social care to go online and make the commitment” – those that have already done so have quickly realised the benefits of the Social Care Commitment.
In a recent evaluation, 85% of those who had made the commitment said that they already have, or expect to see, an increase in the quality of care they provide, whilst 83% said that it has led, or will lead, to improvements in how staff are trained and developed.
The commitment works. It can improve the quality of care provided in a variety of ways. Firstly employers and employees who sign up are making a statement that they are going to commit to a defined standard of quality. For example, taking responsibility for the standard of care delivered, and promoting and upholding the privacy, dignity, rights, health and wellbeing of people who need care and support.
For some providers these may already be standard but making the commitment provides employers with an opportunity to publicly declare the quality of the care they provide, and acts as reminder to employees about what defines quality care day to day.
The tasks that underpin the statements have been designed by the sector and can be easily translated into practice. For example, having up to date job descriptions and person specifications for all roles and providing effective training for supervisors. The task and statement framework provides ideas to support providers in ensuring that a high quality of care is delivered. For those organisations with these measures already in place, the tasks can serve as positive reinforcement on their approach and that the right standards are being met.
When the commitment is made by an organisation or an employee, the system develops a personal and organisational development plan which maps the tasks and statements, and identifies learning and development gaps. This supports the long term implementation of the commitment. Individuals can use these to develop their career goals whilst organisations can use them to focus their development structure. Those who have made the commitment understand its importance and how it can really shape care services in the future.
For more information and to make the commitment see: www.thesocialcarecommitment.org.uk