looks like helps families make choices about the care of their loved ones. It can also help them to understand what they should expect from a service provider. The CQC is responsible for making sure that residential care homes meet the highest standards of care. One of the questions it asks is how effective a home is and what this means in practice. A critical concern is that staff must have the right knowledge, qualifications and skills to carry out their roles, enabling residents to have a good quality of life. They should always ask for a resident’s permission to give care, treatment and support in a way that is easy to understand. Family and friends should also be involved in decisions about care, where appropriate.
Staff should know about each resident’s health needs and personal preferences and give them as much choice and control as possible. Staff should also work with health and social care professionals, such as GPs and take the right action at the right time to maintain good health.
Aspects of ‘effective’ that directly relate to the use of technology include: l meal planner to monitor the choice of food and enable calorie counting; choosing meals based on dietary requirements and restrictions
l setting an individual’s daily food intake and targets; automatic calculations of total fluid intake and output within a defined 24 hour period illustrated by easily understood graphical features
l consent to electronic care plans including DNAR status to give permission to provide care, treatment and support. Where appropriate, family and friends are also involved in decisions about their loved ones
l staff know about health needs and record personal preferences and wishes using a voice note functionality; these can be taken into account when care plans are drawn up and updated
l access individual’s personal and medical records using electronic care plans at the point of care to allow the most efficient and personalised care to be delivered.
The CQC gives the highest priority to nutritional needs and one crucial measure of an effective care home is that staff make sure residents get the food and drink they need. Residents should also expect to be asked about their likes and needs when the home is adapted or decorated. Any changes to the home should be made to help
The adoption of technology can bring the KLOEs sharply into focus and help to ensure these standards are maintained or exceeded
residents to be as independent as possible.
The CQC also looks at how technology is used to make the service more effective and supports care staff by giving them the information they need to ensure they meet the criteria for the effective running of their care home.
Is your service caring? An outstanding care home must be caring. The CQC defines ‘caring’ as staff involving and treating people with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect. In the best care homes, all staff are involved in treating residents with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect. It should not need saying, but these qualities should be at the heart of care in all residential and nursing homes. Another of the five KLOEs is ‘Are staff caring?’.
All homes set out to do the best for residents and to create a caring environment. Sometimes, in a busy environment, maintaining the highest standards of care at all times can be a challenge. The adoption of technology can bring the KLOEs sharply into focus and help to ensure these standards are maintained or exceeded.
Aspects of ‘caring’ that directly relate to the use of technology include: l staff are armed with appropriate knowledge of individualised care plans to reduce the amount of time spent on paperwork and administration so that more time is spent caring
l real-time access to daily tasks and up to date shift handover notes
l detailed records of an individual’s final wishes ensure timely and appropriate action is taken to meet their preferences, dislikes and wishes
l instant access and real-time updates with the resident’s most recent information, including contact details for relatives and medical professionals
l assessment forms to help monitor medical conditions with customised assessment and care plans, medication reminders and tracking and individualised health and safety checklists
l adherence to data protection regulations based on security
processes and procedures; personal data is encrypted for security
l a mobile app that enables getting in touch with family and friends, reminding their loved one of important aspects of their lives; ideal support for people with dementia.
The CQC expects staff to treat residents with kindness and compassion in their day-to-day care and support. Evidencing of care is critical. The CQC will look for evidence that people and those close to them feel that they matter. This means staff listen to them and talk to them appropriately in a way they can understand. In order to do so, staff need to know the people they are caring for, including their preferences and personal histories. In a good home, staff show concern for resident wellbeing in a caring and meaningful way and respond to their needs promptly. Compassionate, respectful and empathetic behaviour is understood and promoted within the staff team.
The service should support residents to express their views and be actively involved in making decisions about their care, support and treatment as far as possible. Staff recognise when residents need and want support from their carers, advocates or representatives to help them understand and be involved in their care, treatment and support. Staff give information to residents, their families and other carers about external bodies, community organisations and advocacy services that can provide independent support and advice, answer questions about their care, treatment and support and where necessary, advocate for them. Relatives and friends should feel welcome and able to visit without being unnecessarily restricted. Respecting and promoting an individual’s privacy, dignity and independence is essential, including during physical and intimate care. Staff should respond in a compassionate and timely manner when residents experience physical pain, discomfort or emotional distress. Information about them should be treated confidentially in line with the Data Protection Act.
m • May 2020
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