Monthly column for providers and professionals working in adult social care from Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care.

Time is moving quickly and it has come as a shock to me that this is my penultimate column before I move to my new role at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in January. This month has been a busy one — probably one of the reasons it seems to have gone so fast — and there has been some really positive work going on here at CQC.

At the start of this month we saw the publication of an updated version of our ‘Equally Outstanding’ resource, which shows how a focus on equality and human rights can improve care quality, even when there are financial constraints. Of course, I understand the challenges facing the sector and the tremendous amount of hard work it takes to achieve and sustain outstanding services, but we know it can be done.

We want our resources to be practical guides that can help providers to improve. One year since the original Equally Outstanding resource was originally published we wanted to update the resource with new knowledge, the result of continued search of best practice tips, and information to share with you.

In our provider survey this year there were 44% of providers who were already aware of the resource when taking the survey, and out of these providers 45% had made a change to their service because of using Equally Outstanding. This is a great response, and hopefully it will be a strong foundation for others to use the resource to make improvements in the future. The 2018 version of Equally Outstanding includes a new e-learning module, an updated pdf version and some extra case studies from providers that are already rated outstanding.

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I hope that you will find the new version helpful to you and I will be looking out for even more adult social care studies to be included in the 2019 update — maybe that could be you?

As well as the updates to Equally Outstanding, this month we have launched a series of online resources looking at the use of technology in care. There can be a lot of controversy about the use of technology in care. For me, what is important is that we do not lose sight of the importance of the human touch and connection between people that is so essential for good care. But, where technology can be used to enhance and improve people’s experience, that can bring great benefits to people using services and the staff who support them. The new resource is designed to do just that and will be developed over time. There are a number of pages already live and you can sign up to receive updates when a new page is published. I hope that you will look at these new pages and find them useful.

Next month will be my last column for CQC and it’s going to be hard to fit in all of the people I want to thank and reflect on the past five years. I hope you will come back to see me try though. Until next time…

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

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