Caremark (North Down, Ards & Belfast), a home care provider based in Bangor, recently had an unannounced inspection from their RQIA Inspector, who spent a full day scrutinising the provider’s files, policies, procedures, as well as interviewing six members of staff and speaking with a number of the provider’s clients to gain feedback on the service provided.
Although the inspection process is very similar to the UK Care Quality Commission’s procedure, unlike the CQC, the RQIA do not have a rating system.
However, in Northern Ireland, any provider who is given a report stating there are “no recommendations, no requirements or quality improvements” is regarded as having an ‘outstanding’ operation.
Reflecting on their excellent result, Operations Director, Emily Magrath said: “Compliance is key here, both with the Regulator and the Caremark system, in order to get good ratings. We have worked very hard to get all our files and systems really slick and make sure they are kept up to date.
“Being compliant we feel is important from day one and not something to be pushed under the carpet. When you are growing the business it is easy to lose sight of this and let things slip.”
The Inspector looked closely at key elements of the business including, medication policies and records, training delivered, staff supervisions and appraisals as well as complaints and compliments from clients.
Emily explains: “We need to work with our Inspectors and not view them as ogres. Our Inspector is very thorough but we have a good relationship with her. It is important not be scared of them and we have only ever found our Inspectors to be supportive.”
Emily Magrath and her husband Richard bought their home care business in 2013. Their shared vision of providing bespoke care and support to people in their own homes started with just a few clients. They now manage a substantial and growing operation which provides a valuable service to their local community.
Emily commented: “Having a good quality business is what we want and we are now well thought of in our local community.”