We have been working with health and social care colleagues in Hull on a new web application called Care Comments that enables front-line workers to register what they observe in care services and allows commissioners to check what is happening in services that have been commissioned by local authorities and clinical commissioning groups.
We think that Care Comments provides an effective method to monitor service quality and limit risks to people who use services. It addresses a current weakness of regulation and inspection: that regulators and inspectors can face difficulties in capturing an ‘inside view’ of what is happening in services. Care Comments is most easily explained in this short video: https://vimeo.com/38625072 .
Our software developer is Maldaba (http://www.maldaba.co.uk/). They are very interested in further developing and trialling the product.
The approach would work equally well in health and social care (and in other services as well like supported housing, education and community legal services). Care Comments offers a year-round approach to identifying good and bad practice in local services. It is pre-emptive in that it picks up disquiet about services before a ‘whistleblowing threshold’ has been reached. It is also non-threatening for the person making comments and removes disincentives to reporting poor practice. With Care Comments, for the first time, thousands of front-line staff can become involved in service evaluation. This offers health and local authority commissioners, and CQC, information and evidence of a quality that has not before been available
. And because it has been built on what front-line staff have said makes sense to them, it should have wide acceptability for those people who will be making the comments.The workers and managers with whom we’ve trialled the idea have nearly all been positive, but people have difficulty committing to an untried system. We’re interested in talking to organisations who may have a reason to adopt Care Comments or who just want to discuss the idea further.
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