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Castlebeck raises quality

2nd October 2006

Castlebeck raises quality with ISO 9000:2001 Healthmark

Castlebeck is a leading provider of treatment and rehabilitation services for adults with learning disabilities. These people are referred to Castlebeck mainly by local authority and NHS social workers and psychiatrists.

Castlebeck operates 12 hospitals, nursing homes and residential homes in Scotland, northern England and the East Midlands, and more are planned.

Quality assurance and monitoring

Standard 39 of the Care Homes Regulations stipulates that ‘effective quality assurance and monitoring systems, based on…the views of service users, are in place to measure success in achieving the home’s aims…and purpose’.

“Although ISO 9000:2001 isn’t a statutory requirement, the National Care Standards Commission is impressed with organisations that carry the standard,? explains Castlebeck Quality Co-ordinator, Liz White.

In 2000 Castlebeck chose SGS to assist with its ISO 9000:2001 application, bespoke staff training, supporting information and guidance, and the assessment itself. SGS is the world's leading inspection, testing, verification and certification organisation.

Good working relationship

“I’ve built up a productive working relationship with SGS’ auditor, who’s been involved with Castlebeck since our successful certification in 2000,? says Liz White. “She has taken the time to get to know our systems, supported us and observations and opportunities for improvement in audit reports have assisted us in many ways to streamline and develop our processes.

“She guided and coached me through ISO without too much stress, to the point where she’s given me the confidence to start my Diploma in Quality with the Institute of Quality Management.

“Before and during audits she’s approachable, professional and supportive, and gives advice on how to rectify problems. I hope this professional relationship will continue.?

Quality Management System (QMS)

Castlebeck’s ISO 9000:2001-compliant Periodic Service Review (PSR) QMS focuses on continually improving organisational performance, quality and customer satisfaction. Its aims include clarity of purpose, realistic process and service standards and the maximisation of innovation, training, trust and staff involvement. At its heart is the process of action, review and continual improvement.

“With the introduction of our PSR, our staff have become more quality-conscious and keener to suggest improvements and try them out,? says Liz White. “With quality so important, staff and management are focused on the same goal – and feel important and valued along the way. It’s been a big boost for us all.?

Review and improve

Castlebeck’s PSR involves regular internal and external audits across the organisation, together with twice-yearly quality management reviews that include discussions of resident satisfaction questionnaires. RSQs help to involve patients in the running of their own homes, show whether Castlebeck is achieving its aims and point to improvements. 

Information from RSQs is also available to prospective residents and their families, and provided to the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

As another of its many quality initiatives, Castlebeck now produces service user guides for each of its homes, introducing patients to facilities on site.

“Our bi-monthly quality and clinical governance meetings are led by representatives from all the company’s departments,? says Liz White. “We discuss everything from changing legislative requirements to the wide variety of ideas we receive from all our homes. All this feedback is good for us, and improves our staff’s understanding of other people’s roles and responsibilities, which in turn improves inter-departmental communication.

“ISO 9000:2001 Healthmark and our ISO 9000:2001-compliant PSR have helped to maintain, and to promote the development of, efficiency, inclusion and high-quality care, treatment and rehabilitation.

“It’s already been shown that we can easily integrate our quality systems into new centres, which gives us added confidence in SGS and in our plans for further expansion.?


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Article Information

Title: Castlebeck raises quality
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 1413
Date Added: 2nd Oct 2006


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