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What is quality in home care?

If you ask CQC they will say SCREW i.e. Safe, Caring, Responsive, Effective and Well-led.

If you ask a user of the service, he or she is likely to list the following:-

  • I’d like a carer who turns up on time, every time

  • I’d like the same carer every time

  • I’d like a carer who is honest and trustworthy

  • I’d like a carer who knows what he or she is doing

  • I’d like a carer who protects my dignity

  • I’d like a carer who gives early warning when my health is deteriorating

  • I’d like a carer who is good company

The relative would add the need for the agency to keep key contacts informed.

The local authority would demand that costs are kept to a minimum.

Classic management theory says quality is doing what the customer wants, each and every time.

And in some ways therefore, home care companies need to address all of the above, because there is more than one customer.

Not easy, and as we have already seen, there is tension between the objectives. Providing a quality service costs money, yet the local authority has no money.

More next week on how these objectives can be met, and then how the regulator can inspect.

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