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Quality Improvement in Care Homes

Date: 2/18/2020


The Safer Provision and Caring Excellence (SPACE) Programme ran in 29 care homes in Walsall and Wolverhampton from October 2016 to December 2018. SPACE aimed to give care home managers and staff quality improvement (QI) skills, training and support. The support helped staff to use QI methods and tools to make changes in their care homes to try and reduce rates of avoidable harms (e.g. falls).

The West Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative funded CLAHRC West Midlands to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme, and this is what we found.

Positive changes to safety in care homes: Most care homes used tools like safety crosses to monitor falls, and many care homes adapted the tools to monitor risks in other areas like nutrition and hydration. Care homes reported more confidence in communicating with other providers like the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS).

There was very good uptake of methods like Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles, Learning from Excellence and Appreciative Inquiry, and staff in all job roles and all levels of seniority were able to get involved and to take ownership of positive change within their care homes.

Over 1000 staff received skills and QI training, and there was widespread evidence that the learning from training was used directly to make improvements to multiple areas of safety. Staff also reported improved teamwork, communication and sharing of good practice.

This project is now being offered in other areas and Herefordshire was lucky enough to be given the opportunity via the Practice Improvement Lead, (from the Quality and Compliance Team) to partake in the SPACE workshop. Over 20 homes attended the one-day Quality Improvement study day and what an insightful day it was!

Care home Managers & deputies received:

  • An Introduction to QI methods
  • Understanding Human Factors influencing QI
  • Engaging staff with QI and developing a QI plan (driver diagram)
  • Measurement for improvement
  • Opportunity to have hands on support with planning a care home QI project and develop your care home specific QI action plan
  • Access to SPACE care home QI resources and toolkits

All agreed it was a fabulous workshop and everyone went away feeling empowered and confident that they can implement the tools into their homes to drive Quality improvement!

Thank you to all that attended. There will be further opportunity to attend a SPACE session, please contact the Quality and Review Team at Herefordshire council if you are interested on 01432 260199