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Home care providers to publish statistics on staff turnover and number of complaints
Date of article: 28-Jun-12
Article By: Sue Learner, News Editor
Home care and care home providers will have to publish data on staff turnover and number of complaints and compliments, under an agreement in the Government’s Open Data White Paper.
The move towards more transparency should enable people to more easily compare home care and care home providers.
The White Paper states that ‘from autumn 2012, those domiciliary and residential social care providers who signed up to the voluntary and industry-led Transparency and Quality Compact will publish a core set to relevant metrics.
These metrics will enable the public to make more informed choices based on standardised quality indicators. They will also allow providers to demonstrate what they are doing well by reporting data already collected for internal and regulatory purposes.’
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “Transparency is at the heart of our agenda for government. Opening up will empower citizens, foster innovation and reform public services.”
The organisations which have signed up to the Transparency and Quality Compact include Good Care Group, Westminster Homecare, Saga, Anchor Trust, Barchester Healthcare, BUPA, Four Seasons Healthcare, HC-One and Methodist Homes Association.
Bridget Warr, chief executive of United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd (UKHCA) said: “We are delighted with the interest in this initiative shown by our member organisations in the development of concise quality indicators that address issues which really make a difference to people’s experience of their care service.
“It is absolutely vital that people who use social care services have a clear range of information about the quality of the care services they choose to purchase, or are arranged for them by the state.”
The UKHCA would like to see a cost-effective, independently verified, quality system for home care providers.
A spokeswoman added: “The Quality Ratings scheme operated by the social care regulator has been sorely missed by social care providers since it was withdrawn in October 2010, severely limiting the available information for people seeking or using care services.
"However, in the absence of such a scheme, UKHCA will continue to work with its members, people who use services and key stakeholders in creating appropriate indicators that identify high quality providers."
Fiona Lowry, chief executive of The Good Care Group, has signed up to the Transparency and Quality Compact.
She said: “We at The Good Care Group welcome the White Paper on Open Data as we have been totally committed to improving access to data to enable the public to have the information to be able to choose quality providers.”
The data that will be published from the autumn will be slightly different for care homes and home care, but is likely to include:
• staff turnover (both home care and care homes)
• ratios of trained to untrained staff (both home care and care homes)
• compliments and complaints (both home care and care homes)
• percentage of residents developing new pressure ulcers (care homes)
• percentage of residents who have a fall (care homes)
• number of medication errors (care homes)
• percentage of appointments not missed (home care)
• appointments carried out at the agreed time (home care)
Image: Bridget Warr, chief executive of United Kingdom Homecare Association