Mountbatten’s support sees care sector success

85% of nursing and care homes, as well as domiciliary care providers, who have taken part in a unique Mountbatten education programme have seen their Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings either improve to, or remain at, ‘good’ on re-inspection.

In the past few years, Mountbatten’s education team has been forging links with the care sector through its innovative end of life training programme. In January 2018, this developed further when Mountbatten was awarded a contract by the Isle of Wight Council to help maintain and raise standards across the care sector. This resulted from the council’s Department of Adult Social Care commissioning an analysis of CQC inspections for every registered service on the Island, drawing out best practice as well as areas to improve. The council then commissioned Mountbatten to design, with the support of existing good and outstanding providers, a learning and development programme for every CQC Registered Manager on the Island – free to those managers at the point of delivery.

The Island Better Care Programme supports Registered Managers to understand what is needed under the CQC’s inspection format and, in particular, how they can ensure they meet criteria for being safe and well led. To date, Mountbatten has welcomed 71 of the Island’s 105 registered care services onto the five-day programme.

Liz Arnold, Mountbatten’s Director of Nursing, said: “The majority of the care sector is providing good care but we know that the Island as a whole lags behind national performance. That is why this initiative, driven by the council, came into being. ln looking at why performance is lower than elsewhere, we have found that the problems tend to be around providing enough evidence to inspectors of where they are performing well. Through the programme, and being an outstanding provider ourselves, we are able to help our care sector colleagues identify gaps, and share our own experiences and documents – from our own policies and procedures, examples of our own action plans as well as from other high performing providers on the Island. And we are delighted that once Registered Managers have completed the programme, the vast majority have improved their rating in subsequent CQC inspection.  

“The learning and sharing is very much a two-way process, where we share information and tools across the sector and present them to each other, to support a longer term network of support,” Liz added.

Funded by the Isle of Wight Council until the end of 2020, the programme has been valued by the Island’s care sector and is now strongly recommended – not only by the Clinical Commissioning Group – but also by the CQC.

Laura Gaudion, Assistant Director of Adult Social Care at the Isle of Wight Council, explains: “When we first approached Mountbatten with the independent analysis we had commissioned, we agreed on a clear template for where we needed to support Registered Managers in order to achieve high quality of care; thus the focus of the learning and development programme they have since delivered so ably. Mountbatten have done a great job and we are working with them to see how we might continue to deliver the programme beyond 2020.”     

Feedback from those who have attended the programme have included “It will have a significant impact on homes across the Island – well done!”, “feels like we are working together all as one team” and “the content, relevance, inspiration and direction was excellent”.