RDB Star Rating

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from RDB Star Rating is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

www.rdbstar-rating.com

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | HALF ACRE HOUSE
Many of them are just starting their
careers and are always brimming with
enthusiasm to share their talents.
Our engagement with nursery children
has also expanded in recent years.
We researched the Lark Hill project,
where children spent many hours
befriending old people in care. We try
to replicate this with our local nurseries
providing opportunities to create
preciousmoments.
Regular newsletters and customer
surveys form an essential
communication tool with staff, families
and the wider community, including
liaising with our local council.
Our aim is to continue to be a truly
family-orientated home.
Influencing care standards
Our belief in innovation has contributed
towards our selection for the Greater
Manchester Teaching Care Home
pilot, working in partnership with
Manchester Metropolitan University
and other care homes to showcase
good practice, coupled with training,
innovation and development.
A long-term passion of Half Acre was
to influence others, helping to raise
standards, and change and improve
approaches towards the elderly, thereby
dispelling the present poor image and
misconceptions held about care homes.
Legislation and financial
support
Years of governmental and council
underfunding has deprived the industry
of the necessary money for care homes
to invest in improving the quality of
life of their residents. We have regular
consultations with the local authorities
and CCG, but frustratingly these
often fail to bring about the essential
changerequired.
There are disparities between southern
counties and the rest of the country,
particularly in the north. Poor areas
appear to attract less government
funding, resulting in less money
dedicated to care services. Pressures
to meet living wage increases and
workplace pensions contributions
weigh heavily on budgets.
We utilise technology to play a huge part
in simplifying the extensive time demand
of necessary paperwork. Accessible
technological grants would encourage
advancement and innovative practice.
Keeping elderly people in their own
home long term, while attractive, has
a downside. Hidden costs arise locally
and nationally requiring multiple daily
carer visits.
Older people are more prone to falls
and can often deteriorate quickly
resulting in emergency hospital visits,
stretching NHS resources. Loneliness
is the most striking issue of staying
at home, caused by lack of daily
stimulation and minimal conversations,
and this often leads to mental health
problems, another hidden cost.
There is a fear of care homes and this
needs to be dispelled. Any opportunity for
excellent standards, innovative practices
and quality care to shine through will
help to oppose the negative press.
We feel a sense of pride at Half Acre
House for the contribution we continue
to make to the care industry by our
intuitiveness and our open mindedness,
which is keeping us abreast of change.
A long-term
passion of Half
Acre was to
influence
others, helping
to raise
standards, and
change and
improve
approaches
towards
theelderly
Themed evening –
masquerade ball
45RDB STAR RATING |
CARE
Managing Director Sue Brand
Our mission is to drive up
standards in care
RDB Star Rating is an independent quality inspection company
“committed to driving up standards in social care”.The RDB
system is designed as a dynamic and responsive measurement
tool to ensure every assessment is comprehensive, reliable and
focused on the needs of the residents. Managing Director Sue
Brand tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the importance of
community care as well as funding issues in the sector.
Through our work, we differentiate quality homes from competitors, in order to give
confidence to vulnerable people and families, who may have to use the service.
We carry out annual inspections to enhance transparency to prospective customers,
enabling them to make an informed choice. We also support and promote care
homes who are committed to delivering high quality care and services.
Change in direction
The 1993 Community Care Act changed the direction of the care industry. It
introduced a broad requirement for local authorities to empower vulnerable adults
to remain in the community, preventing or delaying admission into institutional
care. This new philosophy, which included the introduction of needs assessments
and capped budgets, was given to LAs to implement.
This change of direction in the sector was not managed but left to market forces.
In 1997 the care sector was in crisis.With the collapse of the property market,
unpredictable commissioning and inadequate LA funding, care homes were
becoming non-viable and closing, and as a result many frail and vulnerable people
were moved from one home toanother.
FACTS ABOUT
RDB STAR RATING
»Managing Director: Sue Brand
»Founded in 1998
»Located in West Sussex
»Services: Independent quality
inspection
»No. of employees: 8
»Bronze in the UK Business
Awards 2019
RDB Star Rating
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
46 | RDB STAR RATING
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said:
“The RDB Star Rating Scheme has been at the forefront of measuring
quality in residential care services for many years.
“At a time when the quality of the services is constantly being
scrutinised, the news that this excellent scheme is accredited by UKAS
gives care providers and the public an independently accredited and
universally acclaimed mark of quality.”
At this time, I owned four care homes
and was Chair of Brighton and Hove
National Care Association. B&H had
just become a unitary authority, so
when the new B&H Director of Social
Services started, I approached him
to discuss the current situation in
social care. After several meetings,
they agreed the NCHA would work
in partnership with the council to
managethe scaling-down of the
residential care market in a positive
way, to protect residents and to ensure
that quality care homes survived.
Counting our lucky stars
The first of our key objectives was to
work in partnership with stakeholders
to ensure our success, which we felt
would allow for transparency and
quality throughout the sector. In order
to do so we decided to design and
implement a star rating scheme for
the care sector, developing a model
that was client focused in approach,
measuring outcomes of care. Rating
care homes meant that we were
expected to assess all the systems that
underpin the delivery of care, including
the hotel element, and to identify
quality throughout an organisation.
In order to gauge the success of a care
home, we use a scale of between two
and five stars, dependent on its quality
of care and services. Crowns are
awarded to reflect the property when
a home has achieved a minimum four-
star rating for care.
Care homes are benchmarked against
more than 200 RDB care standards, with
ten to 16 pieces of evidence collected
for each standard. Residents and staff
are actively involved in the assessment,
through interviews and confidential
questionnaires, to ensure that each
home acts in line with regulatory
compliance, and databases are
developed to benchmark theseactivities.
In line with this, local authorities
assured us that they would introduce an
approved provider list for the star-rated
homes in their authority and promote
RDB star-rated homes on their approved
provider list. They also promised to put
their own homes through the annual
RDB assessment and give an annual
awards ceremony for star-rated homes.
We provide an
independent view of the
home’s performance
against best practice
RDB Star
Rating was
the first
scheme in the
UK’s social
care sector to
achieve UKAS
accreditation
in 2017
Matt Gantley
CEO of UKAS
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
46 | RDB STAR RATING
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said:
“The RDB Star Rating Scheme has been at the forefront of measuring
quality in residential care services for many years.
“At a time when the quality of the services is constantly being
scrutinised, the news that this excellent scheme is accredited by UKAS
gives care providers and the public an independently accredited and
universally acclaimed mark of quality.”
At this time, I owned four care homes
and was Chair of Brighton and Hove
National Care Association. B&H had
just become a unitary authority, so
when the new B&H Director of Social
Services started, I approached him
to discuss the current situation in
social care. After several meetings,
they agreed the NCHA would work
in partnership with the council to
managethe scaling-down of the
residential care market in a positive
way, to protect residents and to ensure
that quality care homes survived.
Counting our lucky stars
The first of our key objectives was to
work in partnership with stakeholders
to ensure our success, which we felt
would allow for transparency and
quality throughout the sector. In order
to do so we decided to design and
implement a star rating scheme for
the care sector, developing a model
that was client focused in approach,
measuring outcomes of care. Rating
care homes meant that we were
expected to assess all the systems that
underpin the delivery of care, including
the hotel element, and to identify
quality throughout an organisation.
In order to gauge the success of a care
home, we use a scale of between two
and five stars, dependent on its quality
of care and services. Crowns are
awarded to reflect the property when
a home has achieved a minimum four-
star rating for care.
Care homes are benchmarked against
more than 200 RDB care standards, with
ten to 16 pieces of evidence collected
for each standard. Residents and staff
are actively involved in the assessment,
through interviews and confidential
questionnaires, to ensure that each
home acts in line with regulatory
compliance, and databases are
developed to benchmark theseactivities.
In line with this, local authorities
assured us that they would introduce an
approved provider list for the star-rated
homes in their authority and promote
RDB star-rated homes on their approved
provider list. They also promised to put
their own homes through the annual
RDB assessment and give an annual
awards ceremony for star-rated homes.
We provide an
independent view of the
home’s performance
against best practice
RDB Star
Rating was
the first
scheme in the
UK’s social
care sector to
achieve UKAS
accreditation
in 2017
Matt Gantley
CEO of UKAS
47RDB STAR RATING |
CARE
The implementation of the
project
Brighton and Hove Council and
Blackpool Council piloted the RDB Star
Rating system in several of their care
homes. Following the successful pilots,
an implementation group was set up,
which included representatives from
RDB, Brighton and Hove and Blackpool
social services departments and the
Local Care Associations.
In 2000, John Hutton, Minister for
Health, came to Brighton and Hove to
officially launch RDB by presenting the
plaques and certificates, at an awards
ceremony, to the homes who had
participated in the scheme.
Funding foibles
We have observed that there is
insufficient funding in the care
industry and believe that this goes
some way to explaining the issues
posed in care homes in the past. In
line with this, we note that the change
in the Care Quality Commission
over the past decade has created
uncertainty within our industry, which
in turn means our operations are that
bit more complex.
Through the work we perform,
we believe we go some way to
consolidating the current issues which
face the industry.
A strong base for the
provision of care
We began to notice that the impact of
our work on our customers’ business
was impressive. We have been able
to ensure the development and
maintenance of positive relationships
with local authorities and the private
sector, which has enabled strategic
commissioning. Local authorities have
also noted an improvement in the
quality of care in their local areas, which
contributed to a level playing field in
the sector. This gave the public reliable
evidence when choosing ahome.
It also enabled providers to receive
enhanced fees to invest in improving
the quality of their care and services,
in addition to ensuring that both the
Lancashire and Blackpool LAs had
access to the European funding for
staff training. In turn, care homes’
occupancy levels improved as a result
of being placed on the local authority
approved provider list, meaning that
overall managers felt more valued and
staff morale benefited.
Through complementing CQC and
assisting with their compliance
understanding, we are confident that
our work in the future will act as a
strong base for the provision of care
throughout the UK.
Through our
work, we
differentiate
quality homes
from
competitors, in
order to give
confidence to
vulnerable people
and families, who
may have to use
the service
Residents and staff are
actively involved in the
assessment
“UKAS accredits independent quality assessment organisations
against international standards in a wide range of sectors, including
health and social care. RDB has continually maintained its accredited
status since 2017, which helps to generate confidence in both the
quality of the inspection services RDB provides, and the quality of care
offered by the residential care homes which it inspects and rates.” –
Lord Lindsay, UKAS Chairman

www.rdbstar-rating.com

This article was sponsored by RDB Star Rating. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.