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Our fully regulated service – across England and Wales

Unlike some other home care providers such as introductory agencies, the service you receive from Helping Hands is fully regulated, inspected and rated.

We welcome and comply with the registration and inspection and auditing process that regulation brings.

We are fully regulated by the:

  • Care Quality Commission (CQC) for England
  • Care & Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)Regulated by the Care & Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)

We firmly believe that this commitment to transparency and quality can only drive the best possible experience for the families that we support and care for.


What is the Care Quality Commission?

Abbey Caseley, senior quality assurance manager If you’re new to health and social care, it’s likely that you haven’t come across the CQC before. Therefore it’s important you know who they are and what the benefits of working with a fully-managed and regulated service are.

Our Senior Quality Assurance Manager, Abbey Caseley, takes us through a step-by-step guide to everything you need to know.

The CQC is the independent regulator of Health and Social Care in England, with the objective of ensuring that people have access to safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led care services. They monitor, inspect and regulate these services to make sure that they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety. They publish what they find and give each provider performance ratings.

Key questions asked by the CQC

There are five key questions asked by the CQC of care providers. They are often referred to as Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs):

  1. Are they safe? – You (the customer) are protected from abuse and avoidable harm
  2. Are they effective? – Your care, treatment and support achieves good outcomes, helps you to maintain quality of life and is based on the best available evidence.
  3. Are they caring? – Staff involve and treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect
  4. Are they responsive to people’s needs? – Services are organised so that they meet your needs.
  5. Are they well led? – Leadership, management and governance of the organisation should all make sure it is providing high-quality care that is based around your individual needs, encourages learning and innovation, and that it promotes an open and fair culture.

The benefits of a regulated care service

  • Independent inspections (audits) conducted by a regulatory body to give you peace of mind that we do what we say we will do.
  • We have to comply with regulatory standards to maintain our registration, meaning our customers are reassured that they are receiving a high standard of care.
  • Our carers are vetted and checked through a robust recruitment process which complies with the regulations (interviewed, application form, a minimum of two references, fully-enhanced DBS check).
  • Training for all carers and staff is in line with the Care Certificate, meaning our employees are trained to a nationally-recognised standard before they work unsupervised with our customers, providing a safe and responsive service.
  • The ongoing supervision and development provided for all of our staff in the form of supervisions, appraisals, direct observations and training. All staff undergo regular supervisions and are able to further their development by attending training on specialist areas such as dementia care, nursing care and other management courses.
  • We provide reports to the regulator to ensure they have confidence in the way we manage the service. This assures our customers that we will be open and honest with them and share information as and when required.
  • Our customers can provide feedback to the CQC on the service we provide. This allows them to have a voice, ensuring that good care is praised and any poor care is highlighted.
  • We will not take on care that is unsafe or that would put our customers or carers at risk, ensuring a safe service is provided at all times.
  • The CQC works with other bodies (e.g. the Health & Safety Executive, Health Watch and the local government ombudsman), to gain an understanding of how a service is performing. This reassures our customers that our service is of a high standard, as there are a number of sources where information is obtained from before an inspection is conducted and an outcome is provided.

How is Helping Hands rated by the CQC?

Typically, our main service is inspected every two years. Following the CQC’s inspections of our live-in care services and our Warwickshire and Worcestershire domiciliary care service in May and June 2016, the final report was published in July 2016. We are pleased to have achieved an overall rating of GOOD.

View the summary and full 2016 report on the CQC website, or download the full report.

Our branches are inspected on an individual basis and all achieve separate ratings from the CQC. Visit our branch pages to see each of their individual ratings.

The ratings we’ve received from the CQC are down to the ongoing hard work and commitment of not just the registered managers of our service, but everyone working across support teams, local managers and, of course, our wonderful, committed carer team. Our commitment to quality never stops at Helping Hands; we have a separate team dedicated to just that, always working to drive continuous compliance and improvement.

Call our customer service team today to find out more about our care services and how we’re regulated.

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Quality assurance – our ongoing commitment

Our central quality function allows for a consistent approach to processes and monitoring, meaning our customers can have support from any of our locations and receive the same high standard of care. This is achieved through:

  • Independent internal auditing/compliance checks to ensure that regulatory compliance is being met and values are being reflected. The quality team frequently reviews current practices to ensure that the customer is receiving the best possible service available
  • Centrally-held surveys allow an independent review of feedback and ensure that action is taken and followed through by different departments
  • An escalation service; if the customer wants to escalate their concerns about the service or individuals then they will be able to do so, confident that it will be addressed and overseen independently
  • A central function to analyse and report on trends of data, looking for best practice and lessons learnt that can be shared across the business to ensure that we are always striving to improve the service provided
  • The registration of new branches is co-ordinated independently and in a timely manner through to completion, ensuring a safe and regulated service
  • The quality team act as a central point of contact for outside agencies making data requests, preparing documentation and ensuring that it is sent to the requester within stipulated timescales, ensuring that customers are not delayed in applying for further funding i.e. through Continuing Healthcare (CHC) teams
  • They also act as a central point of contact for local authorities in respect of the monitoring of existing contracts and as an escalation point for complaints/safeguarding/concerns raised with the company, ensuring things are acted up quickly and effectively so that our customers receive a positive customer service experience
  • Policies and procedures are updated in line with legal and regulatory requirements, meaning that our customers receive a service that reflect up to date practices

More about quality assurance at Helping Hands

If you’d like to find out more about our quality assurance service at Helping Hands and how we’re regulated, get in touch with our team on 01789 767950 or email our quality assurance team.

Learn more about the Care Quality Commission on their website.


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