Effective Practice Updates

How the CQC can build a safety culture

Published on 4th June 2014

A safety culture is the outcome that organizations reach through a strong commitment to acquiring necessary data and taking proactive steps to reduce the probability of errors and the severity of those that occur.

(Merritt & Helmreich, 1997).

As the Care Quality Commission reforms and refocuses, there is a rare opportunity to build a safety culture in adult social care.

Safety cultures were first developed in aviation – another sector with high risk activities and... Read full article

A few reflections on Community Care Live

Published on 23rd May 2014

I have just attended Community Care Live 2014. It was incredibly refreshing simply to be in an environment where people were constantly discussing, thinking, arguing and considering. I also had the chance to hear some things that really struck me. Here are five of them:

“True to her word”

In a workshop by Buckinghamshire about prevention, one of the speakers shared a case study of how a community practice worker had helped a family. They described her as “true to her word”.... Read full article

Just keep paddling

Published on 23rd April 2014

I have just spent 24 hours as part of a support team for a 125 mile canoe endurance event. Our canoeists paddled from Devizes to Westminster, through the day and night, in the rain and cold, climbing out of the canal for 77 locks, and racing to catch the tide that would take them the last 18 miles. I learned a lot about how to help keep people going under extremely difficult conditions, and I think that much of this is relevant to those who are supporting social care practitioners. So here... Read full article

Evaluating value and valuing evaluation

Published on 25th March 2014

I started working for myself last year. I now have nobody to blame for the following things:

My well-being at work My work-life balance My opportunities to develop and learn Whether what I do makes any difference to anyone.

To help me with the last one in the list, I have just completed my Year One Review.

I wanted to share what I have learnt from this about how to know if what you do is worth doing. Of course, you can evaluate your work by how much you get paid... Read full article

Evidence, Evidence, Evidence

Published on 28th February 2014

Two reports have recently been published about social work education. Sir Martin Narey’s report considers education for social workers in children’s services and Professor David Croisdale-Appleby’s review examines social work education in general but with a focus on adults’ services.

The debate on what social workers should do and how to prepare them for it is complex and changing. This is because it rests on two separate questions:

What does society want social work to... Read full article

Where’s Tom? How to create an assessment that is about a person

Published on 19th December 2013

Research shows that professional concerns often drown out what people think is important in their own lives. The tool ‘Sorting important to and important for’ helps to make their voices clear.

I recently did some training with practitioners and managers, who work in adult social care in a local authority. The training was on effective recording. One of the main aims was to ensure that when people wrote about someone, their voice was really evident in the record.

As part of this... Read full article

Making good (enough) decisions

Published on 20th November 2013

When things go wrong in social care, we look for poor decisions. Good leaders and good professionals should get things right. When things go wrong, leaders get blamed and they resign; professionals get blamed and they get sick.

Writing a handbook for practitioners on Making Good Decisions gave me the chance to really think about what a good decision is. A good decision is not the same as a decision that turns out ‘right’. In the complex, uncertain world that social care inhabits,... Read full article

Missing the chance for outcome-based social care?

Published on 28th October 2013

The draft Care and Support bill states that the aim of social care is to promote well-being. Its implementation will include new national eligibility criteria. The government is currently seeking views on a discussion document for National Minimum Eligibility Criteria. Unfortunately, as currently drafted, these criteria fail to fully support the aim of promoting well-being, and risk a generation of confusion in social care practice.

The problem is that the eligibility criteria are not... Read full article

What is a preventative service?

Published on 28th September 2013

There is a real need to understand prevention just now.

Social care services are facing increasing demand and expectations, alongside reducing resources. The draft Care and Support Bill makes it a statutory duty for local authorities to provide services or take other steps to prevent, reduce or delay needs for care and support. The growing integration agenda focuses on the need for proactive, joined-up services, and funding for integration is likely to be linked to services being able... Read full article

What makes a trustworthy assessment?

Published on 29th July 2013

The new Care Bill and the aim of making integrated care the norm add increased emphasis to the need for good, consistent assessment. There is likely to be more social care assessment activity due to greater equality for carers and the new funding arrangements, together with a wider range of roles in more diverse agencies undertaking assessments. The answer to what makes a trustworthy assessment is crucial to achieving proportionality, reducing duplication and, consequently, being efficient... Read full article


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