Gold Standards Framework Care Homes Training Programme

Categories: Education.

The National Gold Standard Framework Centre runs the GSF Care Homes Training Programme as a quality improvement change programme aimed at homes of all types and grades, not just focussing on improving the ‘good’ homes but also enabling those that struggle to develop real, sustainable, locally owned improvements. The GSF Centre welcomes applications from any home. In many areas, such as the North West, the choice of homes going forward for GSF training is dependent upon the list submitted by the local area commissioners or facilitators.

Having trained almost 50% of nursing homes in the country, GSF has developed a national momentum of best practice and raised the standards for all homes, thereby reducing inequity. We continue to work with care homes of all types, across the country, as illustrated by the many areas that have trained all the care homes in their locality or, indeed, some areas that have focussed our GSF training on the homes that are otherwise seen as ‘failing or struggling’ homes.

Many of the care homes in the North West that have done the Six Steps To Success programme, which uses some of the principles of GSF, later progress to the full GSF programme and go on to be accredited, seeing it a stepping stone towards GSF. The GSF Accreditation process and Quality Hallmark Award provide quality assurance and quality recognition which is well recognised by the CQC and commissioners, a key part of which is developing long-term sustainability and disseminated learning, throughout the whole care team.

There are very real difficulties faced by many care homes, and GSF does require a consistently high standard that can be a challenge for some to achieve. So, in response to requests to develop an intermediate stage or ‘GSF for beginners’ for such homes, The GSF Centre has developed a new GSF Care Homes Foundation Level Training Programme, currently being piloted in 40 homes in Nottinghamshire with the prospect of most progressing to the full programme.

There is increasing recognition of the valuable role care homes play in the care of frail elderly people, and the importance of providing quality end of life care. But this needs to be real and sustainable for the home. They need encouragement and support to own and embed the culture changes and practicalities of the GSF programme to ensure long-term sustainability, as evidenced by the increasing numbers of reaccredited GSF care homes. Shorter-term improvements might be quicker to implement but are less sustainable long-term and less likely to lead to the culture changes described by many GSF care homes.

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