When talking about quality and governance, one of my most frequent sayings is, ‘show me an organisation that claims to have no incidents and no complaints and I will show you a failing organisation’. To me, if an organisation claims the above, it speaks volumes about its leadership, culture, processes and systems.
A culture of openness, transparency and learning ensures the safety of service users and staff alongside the provision of high quality and effective care. An organisational and integrated approach to governance and safety is vital. Separating governance into silos can cause duplication, build in unnecessary processes and hinder the sharing of learning and feedback. Looking back over the last 25 years when clinical governance was a key driver in the NHS, we probably didn’t realise at the time that this would pave the way for today’s ways of working and approaches to safety and quality.
When you look at the charity sector it can feel at times that we are over-regulated; we have the Charity Commission, CQC and Information Commissioner’s Office to name a few. Understanding the roles of these organisations and why they exist is key to ensuring compliance and consistency across the sector.
Over the last year, a few of our services have been inspected by the CQC. We are consistently receiving positive feedback and ratings of ‘good’. This confirms to us that we are providing safe, effective, caring and well-led services that respond to individual needs.
There are many different views on whether inspection works. For us, it’s about using inspections and associated feedback as an opportunity to develop and improve. Ensuring that we promote privacy, dignity and respect are the fundamentals of care. The CQC is here to stay, and an external view can provide us with a reality check to make sure we are doing what we say and safeguarding the needs of our service users.
At Cranstoun, we believe that governance should enable innovation, service development and service improvement. The quality and governance team is a support service, working in partnership across the organisation to ensure that we do the best for our service users. Governance should never be used to hinder or prevent change or as a reason not to do something – it is about driving things forward in a way that promotes collaboration, learning and visible leadership.
During the next year, our quality, governance and safety agenda will continue to grow and evolve. Energising our approach to quality, safety and governance alongside demonstrating compassionate leadership will drive our work forward enabling us to meet any challenges on the horizon. Our focus is not only on meeting the requirements of regulatory bodies but taking the next steps in our journey to provide the best services possible for people who need them the most.