Optalis Governance and Quality Assurance

We are proud of our commitment to quality. The quality of care and support we provide is always our focus and priority and we continually look for ways to improve.

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Welcome to Governance and Quality Assurance at Optalis. My name is Deanna, and I am the Head of Governance & Quality Assurance.

The Governance and Quality Assurance Team are focused on providing a constructive, supportive and long-term approach to continuous improvement. The focus on quality is essential and ensures company processes are efficient, safe, understood and most importantly, embedded for the safety and wellbeing of customers and staff.

Governance and Quality Assurance Team Roles:

  • Head of Governance & Quality Assurance
    [including Risk, Performance, Health & Safety & Information Governance]
  • Quality Lead for Internal Services
    [Regulated, Non-Regulated and Statutory]
  • Health & Safety Coordinator
  • Business Information Analyst
  • Management Information Officer
  • Information Governance Officer
  • Data Protection Officer

Governance and Quality Assurance covers all areas of the business. The infographic below demonstrates the systematic approach to providing inspection quality assurance Optalis uses and highlights the importance of the connection between tasks all stakeholders to ensure best practice.

The holistic approach to ensuring quality supports the company in pursuit of excellence and promotes positive outcomes for all Optalis customers. For more information on how we continually improve at Optalis, click the links below.

Quality Assurance is a way of preventing mistakes and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to customers.

The term "quality assurance" means maintaining a high standard of quality, across the service, by continually measuring certain elements, for example, the 5 Baseline Quality Principles:

  • How SAFE, EFFECTIVE, RESPONSIVE, CARING, and WELL LED are the services and the practices?
  • How well are the LESSONS LEARNED embedded after a change, and
  • How is this assured?
  • What are the TOP RISKS of the services, and
  • How are they being MITIGATED?
  • We ask ourselves what CHANGE or IMPROVEMENT the services need for them to be successful, compliant and of value to our customers

Quality Assurance Model

Governance is the ‘Golden Thread’ that provides an underpinning structure enabling practice, scrutiny and decision making to be delivered effectively in all areas of the company. Good governance drives the improvement of quality and safety and is a ‘must-have’ for Optalis. For regulated services, good governance provides regulatory compliance and effective leadership.

Robust governance at Optalis provides many benefits:

  • Supports both Optalis staff and customers in the best practice of the five baseline Quality Principles and overall Wellbeing
  • Provides transparency for appropriate decision making
  • Enables proactive operational functionality
  • Ensures the robust management of Risk(s)
  • Evidences sustainable improvements
  • Supports an ethos of collaboration
  • Encourages learning from both failure and success
  • Delivers assurance to partners, agencies, regulators and governments of and for performance data
  • Recognition of improved standards.

At Optalis, there is a robust audit framework which ensures scrutiny of practice, reflection and the monitoring of standards of regulated, non-regulated and statutory services.

These audits include the monitoring of:

  • Compliance with the five quality principles
  • Health & safety requirements
  • Audit framework compliance
  • Outliers, exception reports on risks
  • Strength-based practice
  • Adult safeguarding
  • Complaints and resolutions
  • Responses to any area of concern (key inspections)
  • Good practice- to share learning with others. (Key Inspections)

Auditing supports services to improve continually by outlining the requirements and actions needed to comply with best practice. Monitoring and completing actions highlighted during audits ensure customers across all services at Optalis are provided with consistent, high-quality care and support.

Data sought during inspections include quantitative data, such as how many accidents have occurred but also qualitative information including customer experiences and feedback, and staff feedback; both are vital to providing a full and rounded view of service delivery. The information gained is used to steer improvements or praise and share good practice.

Data Performance at Optalis captures, monitors and manages how the service is doing in:

  • Closing the gaps for improvements
  • Meeting demand, or challenges in delivery
  • Considering if the measures are correct and appropriate
  • How successful and valuable the service is

Data Analysis is the process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modelling data to discover useful information, informing conclusions, and supporting decision-making.

The Management Information Officer is responsible for collating, analysing and coordinating information for Senior Management, used to assist with important decision making and performance monitoring.

As well as producing cyclical reports, the Management Information Officer assists Service Managers with identifying improvement areas, driving outcome-based improvements and encouraging leaner working.

Key areas of work:

  • Cyclical reporting (Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly & Annually)
  • Data requests (FOI, DSAR & special requests)
  • Excel work (Formulae work, Macros and guidance)
  • Continuous Improvement Plan (Working with Service Managers on CIP document)
  • SNAP Surveys (Creating, designing and coding customer/service user surveys for use of collecting feedback)
  • Assist with annual returns
  • Data analysis
  • DToC Reporting Analyst (Delayed Transfer of Care)
  • Assist with DPA reporting

Information Governance at Optalis covers the following:

  • Subject Access Requests – legal right to obtain access to your personal data that the company/organisation holds on you either verbally/writing
  • Freedom of Information Requests – right to access public sector organisations data
  • Data Breaches –unauthorised disclosure of sensitive/confidential data
  • Records Management – management of company information throughout its lifecycle, creation, use, maintenance and destruction of records

Information Governance (IG) is to do with the way organisations 'process' or handle information. This covers personal data, which includes our customers at Optalis, former and current and prospective employees, suppliers and clients. IG also balances the use and security of information and helps with legal compliance, operational transparency, and reducing expenditures associated with legal issues.

The General Data Protection Regulation came into effect in May 2018, which has tightened data protection regulations from the 1998 Data Protection Act. It has changed how organisations can collect and use your personal data and increased your rights. Some of these rights include:

  • Having inaccuracies in your personal data corrected
  • Erasing information you no longer want companies holding about you; and
  • Preventing direct marketing without your consent

The Data Protection Officer (DPO) is responsible for matters that involve personal data and ensuring Optalis is compliant with the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. The DPO makes sure staff have training and that there are robust processes and procedures in place for dealing with personal data and requests that come in under the legislation. People can request copies of the information that Optalis holds on them (known as a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR)) and the DPO must make sure these are processed effectively and within the legal timeframe of one month. The DPO also has responsibility for the processing of other requests that come in under data protection legislation.

Dealing with data breaches comes under the DPO remit and they are responsible for investigating, liaising with people affected and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as necessary.

The DPO is also responsible for seeing that FOIs are responded to correctly and within the legal timeframe of 20 working days.

All data protection questions and queries should be sent to dpa@optalis.org

Good health and safety is what Optalis aspires to. Each of us takes personal responsibility for health and safety, so our customers feel confident and secure in our care and support. An extensive Health and Safety Library include a suite of health and safety policies and procedures so staff can access the information and documents needed regarding health and safety.

There are 11 registered services at Optalis providing care and support, including care homes, respite care, home care and reablement and rehabilitation services. These services are registered with and inspected by the Care Quality Commission.

Latest news

Optalis Quarterly Performance Report is published

The Quarterly Performance Report shows a summary of our activities and plans for development.

View the full article