By Debbie le Quesne

Embracing the Internet: Helping to make informed choices on care

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The internet and information technology generally leaves many care providers baffled. It’s a fact that large per centage of residential homes still produce ‘hard copy’ care plans and the computer is generally assigned to an emails only function.

The good news is that attitudes are changing – but slowly. It worthy to note that a new online tool is being promoted by the Department of Health and it could be a cursor for change within the care industry – there are IT sweeteners here which should encourage all of us.

The service allows users to search and compare any Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered home care, residential or nursing home provider is now available online at NHS Choices.

As part of the Caring for our future White Paper, it was launched so that users can search for local providers within an area and link to CQC reports and information about the provider.

It’s a great asset, but what’s even better it is being extended and will allow providers to include key information about themselves including photographs of rooms, pictures of staff along with short biographies, plus information on services such as visiting arrangements, pets and visiting clergy.

This is chance for self-promotion on a third-party website and a sweetener not to be passed over.

Wow! We are at last being recognised as a profession worth having some control of a business profile on a Government website.

In addition, users will be able to leave online comments about a care provider.

As local Healthwatch starts to take on an active role in social care, it will be able to use the Provider Quality Profile (PQP) to provide feedback from local people about a particular provider.

This too, I feel is a good move. It allows, in effect, an open forum which in turn should up the standards of poor providers. My only concern it that this may be used maliciously.

We have heard of cases where untruthful allegations have been made directly to CQC resulting in police inquiries into care home practices.

I have to ask: Will there be a kind of webmaster who will be responsible to monitoring?

Providers will also be able to add flags to their individual Provider Quality Profile (PQP) to show they have adopted recognised quality schemes such as My Home Life, the new NICE social care quality standards and the Dementia Care and Support Compact.

The Provider Quality Profile (PQP) will ultimately help people and their families make informed decisions and choices about their care and support.

It will also help providers to:

▪    benchmark their performance

▪    understand if and where they need to make improvements

▪    inform development and training of staff

The PQP is part of the social care reforms set out in the Caring for our future White Paper which aims to help care providers deliver better quality services and to improve the care that people experience.




Written by debbielq

September 3, 2012 at 9:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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