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GGI launches independent quality assurance programme on Birmingham City Council’s telecare service

Posted: 3/1/2013 8:57:46 AM

GGI carries out an independent quality assurance programme on Birmingham Telecare Service which is highly valued by service users and carers alike.

Good Governance Institute (GGI) is working with Birmingham City Council (BCC) to develop a pioneering programme, centred on the needs of service users from the Birmingham Telecare Service. The report from GGI, ‘Birmingham Telecare Service: Establishing an independent quality assurance process’ documents in full the first stage of this work, and the framework for the ongoing programme.

Birmingham City Council partnered with Tunstall to roll out a large-scale, city-wide telecare service, which is the first of its kind in the UK. The service is expected to benefit 27,000 people over three years, with over 6000 people currently benefitting from telecare. As part of this, GGI was commissioned to develop and run an independent quality assurance programme in order to build an in-depth understanding of quality issues in telecare services.

The programme of work developed by GGI has at its heart the experience and participation of telecare service users themselves. It has been designed to engage with service users and their advocates through an established independent quality review board, the Citizen’s Quality Advisory Group (CQAG), and direct contact with telecare service users, their families and carers. This is to ensure citizens’ input is not limited to those participating in the review board.

Jon Tomlinson, Joint Director of Commissioning at Birmingham City Council said:

Our telecare service looks to support vulnerable adults to live independently in their own homes for longer, and we are expecting over 27,000 people to benefit over the next three years. By working alongside GGI on this quality assurance programme, we are aiming to use the findings to make improvements in all service areas, while also contributing to a national framework that will ensure high standards in telecare service delivery.

Andrew Corbett-Nolan, Chief Executive of GGI and a Fellow of the Chartered Quality Institute said:

No two telecare users’ needs are the same. We believe that all telecare services should be built with a focus on what elements users’ value, to ensure they are being delivered in the most effective way according to people’s needs.

This is a ground-breaking opportunity to develop a clear understanding of the quality issues in telecare services, and for the Birmingham Telecare Service to contribute in a much wider context to a national framework for telecare services, using the report as a basis for best practice. Our template for telecare services will ensure commissioners are delivering a service that is built around the needs and expectations of both the service users and their carers.”

The first stage of the programme involved working with service users and their carers to establish their satisfaction with the telecare service. GGI established that the service was highly valued by those who used it, and identified it as making a significant difference to residents’ lives.

One service user commented:

I’ve found that since I’ve been given telecare, I’ve got more confidence to go out. At one time, I wouldn’t go anywhere; I would just sit in the house and cry. But since I got telecare, I’ve now moved near my family and I’ll go out and do my own shopping.

Going forward GGI is looking to build on its initial findings, finalising the appointment of the CQAG, devising a quality assurance dashboard and running the first cycle of the quality assurance process, which will involve ongoing direct work with service users through focus groups and interviews. GGI will also provide quarterly reports for the CQAG, and conduct annual service user experience surveys for the duration of the programme.

You’ll find various case studies from the Birmingham Telecare Service on the Good Governance Institute’s Vimeo site.

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