Is your service responsive? An outstanding care home must be responsive. The CQC defines ‘responsive’ as being when staff and services are organised so that they meet the needs of residents. An outstanding rating for responsiveness requires services to ‘meet people’s needs’. This is the fourth KLOE and care home owners and registered managers can help ensure resident’s personalised needs are met through the use of smart technology. Indeed, one of the new KLOE prompts specifically asks: ‘How is technology used to support timely access to care and treatment?’ and ‘Is technology (including telephone systems and online/digital services) easy to use?’ All providers set out to do the best for residents and to provide a responsive environment. However, without the support of technology, the task is much harder. Clearly, technology is not the only answer, but it goes a long way towards helping to deliver the desired outcome. Aspects of ‘responsive’ that directly relate to the use of technology include: l up to date care, treatment and support plans are set out in a document that is shared by all via a tablet that describes what staff need to do to make sure that residents receive personalised care

l reminders and alerts encourage timely delivery of care and treatment

l a record of incidents, comments and feedback allows automatic escalation which then leads to online manuals for continuous learning and improvement

l personalised plans for end of life situations to enable informed choices about care to be made are easily documented without the need to type; they are also online and available to others who may need to know

l instant availability of deep level information about residents that allows caregivers to follow their interests and take part in activities that are socially and culturally relevant and appropriate to them

l detailed assessment, care plans and services recorded, delivered and co-ordinated through automated handover notes, to do lists and a

task manager that is accessible and responsive to people with complex needs

l family and friends, where appropriate, are actively involved through a mobile app that enables the sending of messages directly to carers and updates the family about their loved ones.

To achieve outstanding for ‘responsive’, the service must have an innovative approach to using technology and residents should be involved in decisions about how it is or could be used. There should be a rapid response to resident’s changing care needs and advice on care and support when needed. Staff should use innovative and individual ways of involving residents and their families, friends and other carers in their care and support plans so that they feel consulted, empowered, listened to and valued. Service providers are expected to set and maintain the highest standards of care and the CQC now actively looks at how technology is used to make the service more responsive and that a suite of applications supports care staff by giving them the information they need to ensure they meet key criteria.

Is your service well led? An outstanding care home must be well led. The CQC defines ‘well led’ as the leadership, management and governance of the organisation to ensure it provides high quality care based around the indivi dual’s needs and that it encourages learning and innovation and promotes an open and fair culture. The fifth question is extremely important. Is the home well led? Achieving an outstanding rating in the well led category means owners and registered managers can effectively monitor and improve the quality of care in the home. Care givers are now expected not only to have the right attitude but also to have the latest information on hand to deliver sustainable care.

Service users have changing care needs and there should be a strong framework of accountability in place to

The use of technology is no longer an option as the best homes are going digital and pushing the boundaries towards ever improving care

May 2020 • John Rowley

John Rowley is senior sales manager at Cura Systems. He has worked in care technology for over 35 years and is credited with the design of the first ‘computerised’ assessment based care plan in the 1980s.


monitor performance and risk, leading to the delivery of demonstrable quality improvements to the service. This is where technology comes to the fore. Aspects of ‘well led’ that directly relate to the use of technology include: l management of all assigned tasks including ad hoc tasks communicated to staff from a tablet device and alerts received in real time

l digital ‘to do’ lists with notifications to allow for the prioritisation of key tasks related either to the resident or to care staff

l flexible staff planner that caters to ad hoc changes

l discussion boards and interactive messaging that enables colleagues, carers and other care professionals to communicate, escalate and share information quickly, easily and effectively.


Technology in care has become increasingly important, transforming the way in which it is delivered and the use of digital care systems has resulted in many people experiencing better and safer care. The use of technology is no longer an option as the best homes are going digital and pushing the boundaries towards ever improving care.

References 1. Care Quality Commission. State of Care. [ report/state-care].


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