Dementia care audit: pilot in care homes
Care audits can help service providers to review and improve their practice against agreed standards.
The Department of Health has commissioned the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) to pilot the use of care audits in social care.
Care audit is a quality improvement cycle that involves review of the effectiveness of social care and social work practice against agreed and proven standards for high quality, and taking action to bring practice in line with these standards so as to improve the quality of care, experience and outcomes for people who use services and carers.HQIP
The dementia care audit is based on NICE Quality Standards and has been developed with the support of an Advisory Group, including the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
SCIE has recruited over 300 care homes for people over 65 in England to take part in a care audit pilot which will focus on supporting people with dementia.
Recruitment to the pilots has now closed.
Care homes that take part in the pilot will be able to review and benchmark their services against others. The pilot will also help the Department of Health to understand if social care providers find care audits useful and how they should be developed in the future.
Benefits of dementia care audit pilot
The dementia care audit will enable care homes to:
- identify what they are doing well and what they might need to improve
- improve their practice by identifying strengths and weaknesses in a logical, measurable way
- prepare for CQC inspections by providing evidence of current practice against national guidelines
- benchmark their performance against NICE Dementia Care Quality Standards and against other care homes
- increase efficiency by identifying what works well and what does not work well in practice
- support their learning and development plan
- provide evidence about the quality of care in a service to establish confidence amongst stakeholders including residents, carers, commissioners, funders etc
- influence the development of care audits for the social care sector.
Scope of the pilot on dementia care audit
As this is a pilot, the audit will be restricted to two measurable issues:
- organisational issues: what is in place to support the quality of care and support for residents with dementia
- care plans and daily notes: what information is held about residents and how it supports their well being.
If care audits proceed, they will be more comprehensive than the pilot and will cover issues such as the direct experience of residents.
What to expect
Care homes that take part in the pilot will be expected to:
- select staff to manage and participate in the pilot
- attend training
- complete the audit using an online audit tool
- provide feedback on the concept and process.
The online audit tool will include a series of questions to analyse the care homes’ policies, procedures and performance against NICE Quality Standards.
The Department of Health has commissioned the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), in partnership with SCIE, to pilot the use of ‘quality cycles’ (known as clinical audits within healthcare) in social care.
The care audit project team and advisory group
HQIP is developing this work with an expert project team and an advisory group representing people who use care services, carers, care providers, commissioners, regulators and standard-setters.
For further information visit the HQIP website