We regularly monitor and review our own services to ensure our standards stay at the highest they can be. Our managers across the regulated services have recently embarked on a 'peer review' programme, which involves visiting each others' services to conduct a review and audit performance.
We are accredited under several national schemes, like Support with Confidence, which reassures our customers that staff have the right skills to look after them. We have also signed up to the Driving Up Quality Code, which commits Optalis to improving our services for people with learning disabilities. We are members of UKHCA (United Kingdom Homecare Association), which is the national professional and representative association for organisations who provide care, including nursing care, to people in their own homes. Members sign a Charter that commits them to the values of dignity, personal choice, non-discrimination and freedom of abuse, amongst others.
Health and safety is always top of the agenda in our board meetings. As well as complying with current health and safety legislation in everything we do, we have our own policies and developed a health and safety manual for staff to ensure we maintain high standards across our services and minimise the risk to our customers. In our first year we saw a 50% reduction in accidents and incidents, and a 50% drop in the number of falls by people using our services.
We train our staff
Staff supervision meetings and staff appraisals are pivotal in ensuring the workforce’s learning needs are addressed. As well as short conventional courses and formal programmes, there are many opportunities for e-learning and peer learning through team workshops and job shadowing. We also encourage self-directed learning so individuals take ownership of finding out specific information and then discuss the outcomes with their manager. This blend of learning activities ensures staff are equipped with the necessary generalist knowledge, but also the specialist knowledge enabling them to provide high quality and individual care and support services.