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Striving for outstanding when managing risk.

by Rob Hargreaves – Skills for Care

Managing risk is something regulated care services will be doing on a daily basis, helping the people you support live their best lives possible.

The CQC inspectors will be keen to know about how you involve the people you support in determining what risks they are willing to take, keeping them safe but not restricting their lives. 

Look for opportunities to enable them to take positive risks and achieve personal goals, always seeking out the least restrictive ways to achieve this.  Find practical ways to mitigate any risks that have been identified but don’t be afraid to trialling different approaches and innovative ways of working.

Your risk assessment and associated policies and procedures should reflect legislation, human rights, equality, and capacity.  Discussing risk at your service should be a regular feature of your team meetings and one-to-one discussions with staff, as well as kept under constant review with the people you support, families, and advocates.

Your staff should be proactive, capable, and confident to undertake risk assessments and maintain these records.  This may require internal training and support or the use of external training expertise to build confidence.  If you feel staff training needs be strengthened, Skills for Care’s endorsed learning providers can help.

Be prepared to evidence the difference you are making to people’s lives as a result of enabling them to take positive risks.  Regularly reflect on the difference you are making and be ready to share these with the inspectors.  Use the inspection as the opportunity to share these stories.  Skills for Care has included some examples as part of this film focusing on three providers rated Outstanding for Safe.

Risk assessment was a key issue for providers responding to COVID-19 challenges and we recorded a webinar to share best practice, many of which are still relevant as we emerge from the pandemic.  The webinar is complemented by some Bite size tools including Practical approaches to risk assessment, Strengthening your risk assessment template and free resources from QCS (Quality Compliance Systems).

If you would like to share your own practical examples of good or best practice in relation to risk assessment, please let me know: rob.hargreaves@skillsforcare.org.uk

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