An integrated model for excellence

Quality Scotland has a pivotal role to play in implementing continuous improvements to adult health and social care, says Ann Pike

Working on a continuous programme of improving social and health care is the key role of Quality Scotland
Working on a continuous programme of improving social and health care is the key role of Quality Scotland

QUALITY Scotland has established tools and the reputation to be at the heart of the integration agenda across adult health and social care.

As the national partner of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) – the long established and internationally recognised EFQM Excellence Model –Quality Scotland is becoming pivotal in the integration and delivery process of the Integration of Adult Health and Social Care Bill.

This bill sets out a commitment to improvement as part of the Scottish Government’s strategy on public service reform. The reach that Quality Scotland has through its membership, partners and key stakeholders enables this improvement to be driven through a common framework with a clear understanding of the linkages across the organisations involved in integration.

As a quality framework, the EFQM Excellence Model gives guidance and structure to making the “continuous” in continuous improvement part of day-to-day working.

The framework is currently used by organisations in different sectors, ranging in size and type of service delivery. There is no limit to its application and flexibility to ensure that we have excellent services in the future which deliver the quality and effective services that are needed in a new and economically viable healthcare world.

The Scottish Government’s 2020 vision requires staff in local authorities, the NHS and their third-sector partners to have a shared vision and deliver a joined-up service provision. Cultural differences and different ways of working pose challenges. A preference for a whole system approach to integration was highlighted in a Scottish Government consultation in February 2013.

Dave Bradley, the chief executive officer at Quality Scotland, believes that the EFQM Excellence Model offers a ready-made whole-system approach to integration. “As a management framework, EFQM offers a holistic approach and a common language, ready-made for collaboration and integration,” he says. This view is supported by Quality Scotland members who, like many organisations, will be part of delivering the Scottish Government’s 2020 vision.

Alexandria Brysland, head of quality and learning at the Mungo Foundation, is an advocate for EFQM as an enabler for change. She comments: “Budget cuts, welfare reform and the need to provide integrated wrap-around health and social care services require strategic leadership with a clear vision to deliver one approach, one service, one system. Culture shifts are required across organisations. This will not be achieved overnight or by trying to shoehorn different priorities. It requires one sound approach that will facilitate business excellence and improvement in a systematic way across partnership organisations.

“EFQM has a track record of delivering excellence across any business, any size or structure and is based on a set of fundamental concepts which will ensure the sustainability and agility of health and social care services across Scotland.”

Beyond the members of Quality Scotland, features of the EFQM Excellence Model are incorporated in models used in education, health and local authorities. Seventy per cent of local authorities are supported by Quality Scotland in either using the EFQM Excellence Model or the Public Service Improvement Framework (PSIF) used across the public and third sector incorporating Investors in People, Customer Service Excellence and Best Value. This enables organisations across the public sector and voluntary communities to drive forward improvement using a common question set, tailored to their needs and providing opportunities for collaboration and benchmarking.

Mr Bradley highlights that as an overarching framework for the integration of adult health and social care. EFQM offers a ready-made whole-system approach with features already familiar to people working in different sectors.

He adds: “As an overarching framework, the EFQM Excellence Model offers a holistic approach and common language to support the shared vision. Information specific to adult health or social care would feed into the overarching framework, making it easier to integrate and manage the joined-up service delivery.”

Quality Scotland helps organisations use the EFQM Excellence Model to manage changes coming from the Integration of Adult Health and Social Care Bill and this evening, Quality Scotland is holding a Parliamentary reception at Holyrood which will help give further clarity on the impact of quality and continuous improvement on Welfare Reform in Health, Housing and Social Care.

• Ann Pike is business development director at Quality Scotland