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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Techniques for Getting Your Organisation Ready for Local Authority Inspections

By Ruth Williams

The frequency of Local Authority inspections has recently been modified following the Munro Review finds and the approach the UK government takes to social care. So if Local Authority inspections could come unannounced or more frequently than they have before, what can you do within your organisation to make sure you are completely prepared? 

Local Authority inspections for the social care sector

The Munro Review was commissioned by the government and released in phases in October 2010, February 2011 and April 2011. Looking closely at the state of social work and Children's Services in the UK, the Review found that a potential policy change would be useful across social care, focusing closely on unannounced inspections to swiftly identify issues in practice, process and risk.

With these unannounced Local Authority inspections comes an extra risk to organizations across a number of different industries within social care. Being judged on the quality of care provision and the ability to cope with increasing pressure is one thing, but businesses are now facing the added risk of being judged based on their levels of preparation prior to an unannounced inspection.

What would be the impact of having frequent mock inspections? Experts in social care would give you the constructive feedback you need but with no negative impact on your reputation with your Local Authority, meaning your workforce could improve your practices ready for a real inspection. 

Aiding your business with mock inspections

These types of mock inspections can provide valuable insight into potential areas for improvement for your organisation ahead of genuine Local Authority inspections. A social care expert who comes in to audit your services is able to offer advice and feedback on points that may easily go undetected by you, however, not by a Local Authority inspector.

The mock inspection may also act as a catalyst for change within your organisation. Feedback could uncover a change that would negatively impact on you in the event of a Local Authority inspection but that can be caught by a mock inspection before it gets to that point.

Mock inspection providers tend to be experts in social care. Working with a provider with a high level of knowledge and experience means that there are often similarly beneficial services you can elicit while doing so. For instance, change management could help you implement the urgent revisions you need. And the services of professionals in your specific industry, perhaps in safeguarding or child protection, can supply a wide angle view of your business in connection with the competitors.

And so prior to your next surprise Local Authority assessment, consider the benefits associated with a mock inspection from a social care expert who can review your organization, provide helpful suggestions, recognize areas of immediate change and assist you to make certain your organisation is prepared for anything.

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