An exciting new element known as SPACE QI was recently incorporated into the four day My Home Life Leadership and Professional Support Programme, to further upskill 50 care home staff and managers across Birmingham, Coventry, Hereford, Worcester and London, and support them to develop best practice in their care settings. The feedback was very positive!
What is the SPACE programme?
- The SPACE (Safer Provision and Caring Excellence) programme was originally a 2-year large-scale Quality Improvement (QI) pilot programme in 35 care homes across the West Midlands sponsored by the West Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative.
- It aimed to up-skill care home staff through training them in basic QI techniques and methodologies which empower staff to identify solutions to common problems within their care settings.
What improvements were made during the SPACE programme in these West Midlands care homes?
- A downward trend in recorded falls
- A reduction in the number of more severe pressure ulcers.
- Significant improvement in safety culture and in uptake of Quality Improvement methods
- Significant uptake of staff led initiatives
What happened when SPACE QI was incorporated into the My Home Life programme?
Caroline Maries-Tillott, Quality Improvement Lead for Patient Safety Service in the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, delivered specific training on Quality Improvement as part of the My Home Life programme. Caroline provided managers with workshops, resources and practical support.
Training included the IHI Model for Improvement, human factors, gathering baseline data about potential areas for improvement within their care homes. Managers were also encouraged to consider different techniques to engage staff in an improvement project and identify how they would generate possible solutions and measure improvement.
Nearly all managers (93%) indicated that they had not received any training on QI methods previously, so this was a new approach to them.
What were the results?
Following the training:
- 100% Managers felt better prepared to start a QI project in their care home
- 100% Managers had a better understanding of how human factors impact on QI in the care home setting
- 86% Managers planned to use safety crosses to track QI
Due to clear training and easy-to-use resources, staff were keen to take improvement projects forward. Many MHL managers were particularly interested in improving standards of oral care for residents and attended additional SPACE QI training. Other care homes accessed SPACE QI resources to facilitate improvement with Falls, hydration and pressure ulcers.
One MHL Care Home Manager, Jo Stinton, from Marian House in Birmingham, described how her care home has now developed a Quality Improvement Plan to improve standards of oral care for their residents:
“We have commenced a Quality Improvement Programme starting with Oral Care. With your guidance staff are keen to put into practice what they have learned. It has been a bit of an eye opener to us all, as most of us like to think we are good at carrying out care. This has been a non-judgemental journey and staff are actually enjoying achieving improvements.
“Support has been key in building on the enthusiasm I gained from My Home Life to actually implementing QI programme. It has helped me to understand the steps to take in the QI process. Gave me confidence implement the programme. We all need a guiding hand at times!
“Care plans are now improving and reflect the actual oral care of each resident. Best practice and latest guidelines now in place. All staff have received updated oral care training. We will measure ongoing success with post questionnaires, increased observation of practice, audit of oral care plans and feedback from staff.
“Our learn on the loo campaign resulted in our employer who is a pharmacist actually saying he had learned something by reading our 5 pass it on messages on oral care! We have also involved residents and relatives in raising awareness of our improvement plans by siting our QI board in the lounge.”
Why is Quality Improvement training important for care home staff?
A large number of older people currently live in care homes and this number is set to almost double by 2035. This forecast poses a major challenge. It is widely acknowledged that building QI capacity and capability in health and social care will help health and social care providers meet this challenge.
Consequently, there is an increasing focus on the use on QI methodology in care homes. Recent guidance issued by CQC outlines how CQC inspections will look for use of QI evidence in a care home’s approaches to improve their quality of care. The SPACE QI training provides staff with ready-made tools and practical support which makes this much easier.
Following this successful pilot, and support from the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN), the My Home Life Leadership team are committed to continuing and extending the SPACE QI element within the My Home Life leadership programme.