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Quality assurance, improvement and performance management

Middle managers in social services oversee the quality of care and support offered to people using services and their carers.

Middle managers, therefore, need to be able to:

  • promote and support a culture of evaluation and continuous improvement
  • support and oversee responsive procedures for feedback from people who use services, carers and staff, using this information to drive improvement
  • lead, evaluate and implement systems, procedures and practices that monitor, report and use key aspects of performance
  • communicate effectively with external stakeholders about organisational performance, quality standards and continuous improvement
  • use ‘soft’ information, for example qualitative data about personal outcomes, as well as quantitative data and statistical reports, to inform performance improvement
  • demonstrate a commitment to self-evaluation and reflection based on experience and feedback.

If you can demonstrate what you have learned from this area of the framework and how you have put your learning into practice, you will be able to earn an Open Badge. Find out more here.

Quality assurance, improvement and performance management resources

  • The Scottish Community Care Benchmarking Service is a member based Network for people working in health and social care across Scotland. The Network has members from NHS and Social Care in most Local Authority areas across Scotland. SCCBN was set up to provide information managers, planners and practitioners a platform to share practice, benchmark statistical information and learn from each other. Supported by the Scottish Government and the Joint Improvement Team. Services were set up to take forward work done to develop a Community Care Outcomes Framework. The Network runs training events and supports specific benchmarking projects. Contact the Network coordinator if you would like to know if your organisation is a member. A PDF report on the Delayed Discharge process (2008-2012) is available at: http://www.moray.gov.uk/downloads/file85146.pdf
  • Understanding and Measuring Outcomes: the role of qualitative data: Published by IRISS in 2013, this guide discusses how to collect and use qualitative information (such as narratives and personal stories) when evaluating individual outcomes.
  • Meaningful and Measurable: Personal Outcomes - a collaborative action research project Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has published an Action Research project that develops an approach to personal outcomes which is both Meaningful and Measurable.

    The final reports of six of the partner agencies can be downloaded here.
  • Customer Service: A number of resources for Services Projects and Operations are hosted on Good Practice for leaders and managers . Topics covered include customer service, financial management and project and programme management. Registration or an Athens username is needed – but if you work in Social Services and don’t already have one, you can request one from Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS).
  • Reshaping Care for Older People: This paper, published by the Joint Improvement Team presents an analysis of trends on national measures relevant to Re-shaping Care for Older People in Scotland, taking into account demographic changes which have occurred.
  • Governance for Quality Social Care in Scotland: This seven page PDF document from Social Work Scotland (published December 2014) sets out the principles for effective care governance and discusses ways to ensure quality outcomes. It provides references to further reading.

Examples from Practice

What Others Say

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Gloria McLoughlin - Scottish Care

"I think we are going to have to work together, going forward in the current climate. It’s going to have to be about collaboration. And it’s going to be about setting old suspicions aside and working together going forward."

University of Stirling et al. (2010) Leading Together, Dundee, SSSC

Leadership Capability Indicators
Continuous Learning Framework (CLF)
Standards for Childhood Practice
learning log
Additional SSKS Resources

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