Blog – HSCS in Practice

Health and Social Care Standards in Practice by Shona Omand-Smith

I wanted to gain a better understanding of the standards and worked on filling the gap in my own knowledge.  Armed with my increased confidence in the ‘new’ standards I started asking care home managers what they were doing to support their staff, people experiencing care and families to get to grips with them.  I realised that managers were often unsure how to bring the standards to life and what else to do besides asking staff to read them. I know that fun creative ways can help get people engaged with new ideas.  Here are some ways that I helped staff to think about using the standards differently..

On the back of a conversation with Jason Strathdee, Care Home Manager at Edenholme Care Home, Stonehaven, we came up with the idea for Standards Bingo.  This bingo game comprises ping pong balls with the number of the descriptive statements written on them.  Staff are encouraged to pick a ball, look up the relevant descriptive statement and discuss with colleagues how they have or could meet the statement.  This has resulted in the staff feeling much more comfortable with the language of the standards and able to relate it to specific people experiencing care.  I am delighted to say that the copy of the standards at Edenholme are dog eared, tattered and taped together as they are now used every day at report. 

Like many other care homes Edenholme display photos of what has been happening along with quotes from the people experiencing care.  What was missing was the link to the Standards, I suggested staff were asked to look at the photos and marry them up to descriptive statements.  This is now displayed in a star shape along with the member of staff’s name.  Wherever you see a star in the home there is a link to the standards.  There are stars on the drinks machine, the notice boards and on the information telling visitors about the purchase and use of the new greenhouse.  

At Lethen Park Care Home, part of Barchester they have been able to update the personal plan to be more reflective of the individual’s outcomes as staff have been able to think differently through using the Standards bingo.  Lethen Park have also developed the easy read version of the standards into a tool for people experiencing care reviews. Care Home Manager Anita Rowley adds, ‘The health and social care standards inspire you to promote continuous improvement for people experiencing care’s personal outcomes. When adopting these standards to procedures, they encourage healthier outcomes for residents as well as for the team’. 

Anita and her team are currently working on the development of their personal plans to be more in line and reflective of the standards.  This is a lengthy piece of work which is progressing well and already improving the outcomes for people experiencing care who live there. 

At the end of each month Activities Co-ordinator Tanya Smith at Balhousie Huntly displays photographs of the activities the residents have participated in and links it to the descriptive statements it helps to meet.  Tanya explains, ‘Since the beginning of Summer this year I have started doing a monthly Health & Social Care Standards wall.  The display shows how the activities that we provide in my workplace relate to the standards.  It has helped me to understand the health & social care standards better and it has also been great for my colleagues to not only understand the standards but also see what all we have been up to over the past month and how the activities we do have a positive impact on our residents lives.’’ Residents and visitors are also learning as they can see what the standards look and feel like when put into action.

I hope that you enjoyed hearing what some services are up to as they bring the standards to life.

Shona Omand Smith