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East London Solutions' (ELS) Quality Assurance

ELS Quality Assurance

Welcome to the East London Solutions’ Ensuring Quality webpage where you can access useful quality assurance information and resources.

You have told us that social care providers who don’t have a contract with the council and who are not registered with the Care Quality Commission sometimes struggle to prove their quality.

This is becoming more important as some councils demand a demonstration of quality in order to advertise on their e-market places. You also told us you find it hard to make sure everyone knows about what your organisation does. This should help you get your message across east London. 

What is it?

Working with Barking and Dagenham there are five other East London boroughs (Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest) who have designed a quality assurance system for providers who wish to offer services to individuals who manage their own care and support arrangements via a Direct Payment or cash Personal Budget. It is based on a set of 8 standards that Service Users told us were important to them.

There are eight areas that apply to every organisation. People who attend the service are supported to achieve the following outcomes

Quality Standards the organisation must meet to ensure the delivery of the individual outcomes:

  • the organisation changes and improves because it listens to what people say they want
  • the organisation treats everyone as equally important and respects everyone’s individual needs
  • the organisation has staff and volunteers with the right qualities, skills and experience
  • the organisation has everything in place to deliver a safe service.

How do I apply?

In order to demonstrate that you as a Provider meet the standards you must download, complete and submit the appropriate questionnaire:

There is lots of guidance to help you complete the questionnaires. For example, we are making some videos to show what these standards mean. Have a look at Ellingham showing us how they take risks and stay safe or Map Squad showing us how they get the right support to achieve what they want out of the service. There is also written guidance on how to complete the questionnaires. Please read this before completing the questionnaires.

In addition, there is supplementary guidance for providers who want to define themselves as specialist.

Why are we doing it?

There are 10,000 people in east London with personal budgets. We need to make sure that we have everything in place to positively manage risk and give people the right tools to make informed decisions.

We also need to encourage the social care market so that it grows to meet our service user’s needs.

To do this we need to tell service providers what is important to service users and professionals in terms of quality and to give you guidance to meet these standards.

We also need to support smaller organisations so that we have a good variety of choice.

Why does it matter to me?

In addition to helping service users make informed decisions there are also benefits for providers:

  1. If you meet the standards this information will be shared with service users, carers, care managers and support brokers. People are more likely to choose a good quality organisation.
  2. Smaller organisations that are unregulated by CQC sometimes struggle to prove their quality. The standards will help smaller organisations show their quality to people who buy services
  3. Sometimes it is hard for smaller organisations to know what the councils wants. What we think is important is clearly set out in the standards with toolkits to help you improve
  4. This is a cross-borough programme. There is one set of agreed standards across all six east London boroughs. Once you have met the standards we will share that information with the other boroughs. There will only be one process to go through and we will be really clear about what we want. 

What does it mean? (information for Service Users)

If an organisation has the ensuring quality mark it means they have promised to meet these standards. They have answered questions and shown us that they have things in place to make these standards happen.

If they are a micro provider we have seen these documents:

  1. evidence that they will find out what you want to get out of the service and make sure it happens safely, for example, a support plan
  2. criminal records check if the organisation needs them
  3. evidence that someone has attended council training on what abuse is, how to recognise and report it
  4. insurance documents.

If they are a day opportunities provider we have seen these documents:

  1. support plan and risk assessment policy
  2. support plan template
  3. risk assessment template
  4. complaints policy
  5. staff training records/plan
  6. proof that someone has attended council training on what abuse is, how to recognise and report it
  7. safeguarding policy
  8. insurance documents
  9. Business continuity plan.

We have not been out to visit the organisation or spoken to staff or other people who go there. Here is a guide we made for you to check out the organisation when you visit. You could use it to make sure the organisation is doing what it promised. There are lots of different chapters that you could use for different things. For example you could use the health and safety chapter to check the building is safe.

If you want an organisation that is very good at working with challenging behaviour then you could see if they meet our specialist standards. There are lots of specialist quality marks depending on what you want, for example, the National Autistic Society has a list of organisations who work well with autism. 

Send the completed questionnaire with all the commitment statements ticked along with the evidence to the relevant person in your borough. This information will be updated.

If you have chosen to answer your questions using videos you can send them straight from your camera phone to this email address too.

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