“Under Somerset County Council my job simply didn’t exist. By introducing this role, Discovery ensures there are extra checks on the quality of services we provide”
So says Adam Walker, Quality & Compliance reviewer for Discovery, talking about his role:
“I worked in support for Somerset County Council for about 8 years before moving across to Discovery with the rest of my colleagues in April 2017. Shortly after this I decided to apply for a job with the Quality and Compliance team, seeing it as a great opportunity for me to learn and improve my skills and hopefully have a positive impact on the wider organisation.
My role involves visits to different homes around Somerset, reviewing paperwork, speaking to staff and relatives about how they feel the service is doing, and speaking with people we support to ensure their voices are heard. I put all of my findings into a report for the locality manager and advise them on key areas of compliance that they need to focus on, for example their risk management process or their fire safety systems.
All my work is done in combination with our Quality Checkers. These are people who we support, who are also employed by Discovery to help me identify any issues and feed back to the staff team in each service. It is such a lovely experience to have people we support having a say in how things are done and being part of the team. Because of their first-hand experience of support provision, the quality checkers will often pick up things that other people might miss; they’ve become an integral part of our approach to quality.”
Needless to say the job can be difficult at times, when we find something that isn’t as it should be; then we have to work hard to find solutions. However, this extra focus on safety, quality and accountability within Discovery has undoubtedly led to some massive improvements for the people we support.
“A good example of the improvements is at a service I visited recently. I first visited this service in 2017 and had a lot of concerns about the quality and safety of the service provided and had to escalate these concerns to senior management. When I visited recently, I was so pleased to see that the behaviour support team had been in and supported the team, the health and safety team had been in and reviewed the service and the recommendations raised in my report had been actioned. This had resulted in a sharp drop in the frequency and severity of incidents at this home and big improvements in the safety for staff and people supported.”