The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on care homes.

The Government has responded by pledging additional funding to support the Enhanced Health in Care Homes Framework (2020), including £600m specifically for adult social care providers to manage infection control.

Care homes have suffered with poor financial stability for many years. A 2018 report by the National Audit Office called the adult social care sector in England an undervalued "Cinderella service". Covid-19 has ruthlessly highlighted the fissures in our social care system and has had a significantly negative effect on an already demoralised workforce.

Assisted funding will help the social care sector financially but we still need to find a way to overcome the struggle to recruit and retain staff that many care homes have. Delivering high-quality, personalised care requires a committed, engaged and well-trained workforce. Accreditation programmes can help care homes to achieve this and to create a positive workplace experience with consistent standards of care provision.

CHKS accreditation supports the Enhanced Health in Care Homes Framework, whether for an independent residential home or a group. It delivers a needs-led, person-centred culture with strong leadership that allows employees to develop their skills and become more engaged with their work. 

Furthermore, it helps to promote the relationship building with partner organisations that is seen as a key part of the Framework through sustainable service transformation. This in turn enables care home residents to receive effective and safe personalised care through joined-up working across the healthcare sector.

Accreditation offers care homes a tried-and-tested solution that works with them to review their current processes, identify improvements and help them to make those improvements. By applying evidenced-based, internationally recognised standards, we can work with you to ensure that your organisation, leadership team and employees are empowered to support needs-led care. The accreditation process can also help you to put governance structures in place to manage risk effectively, including controlling and preventing infection and keeping patients safe.

This is needed now more than ever, and it can help you to continue to consistently deliver care during any future Covid-19 outbreaks.

By improving quality through an assurance framework, you can feel confident in how you deliver your services across your organisation, manage your workforce, the effectiveness of your improvement planning and development. It can make you more prepared to confront the issues that the pandemic has raised, such as policies on visiting, PPE, isolation of suspected or confirmed infected residents, testing, the rise in associated staff absence and the use of agency staff.

Accreditation provides many benefits beyond supporting the Enhanced Health in Care Homes Framework. It relieves burden on managers, drives staff engagement and, by encouraging a culture of innovation, boosts partnership working. It brings a culture of pride in the quality of service and a greater sense of ownership and improves care home resident experience and satisfaction.

However, and perhaps most importantly in this current climate, accreditation demonstrates to regulators, commissioners and the public that you’re committed to and focused on providing a high-quality service that prioritises your residents’ safety.

By 19th June 2020, 56% of care homes in England had been hit by Covid-19, with just under 20,000 Covid-19-related deaths among residents in England and Wales and care workers dying from Covid-19 at twice the rate of their NHS colleagues.

Inspiring confidence in care homes in their residents and their employees has never been so vital. Accreditation can create this confidence and should be an integral aspect of every care home’s operations.

Find out more about how accreditation services can support your organisation.

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