Quality has always been at the centre of The Disabilities Trust's philosophy, ensuring that systems tools and measures are in place to identify the positive areas of the Trust. Our 'customers' or stakeholders are a fundamental part of that service, giving us feedback and insight into how they feel that the service is being run.

This can be on all aspects of the service users lives, including independence, inclusion within the community and health and well-being. Every service has a dedicated Quality Assurance (QA) Regional Advisor who works closely with the operational management, staff and service users.

The Quality Assurance team visit each service to conduct formal audits and support other aspects in relation to quality of the service provision.The formal reviews of services includes views from all stakeholders to support evidence-based information. Individuals living at those services are invited to take an active part in the review. We are committed to continually adapt, review and audit processes to focus on the five fundamentals of care:

Quality is about doing it right, especially when no one is looking.

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Caring
  • Well-led
  • Responsive

The QA Advisors support the operational teams with advice and guidance regarding Care Quality Commission / Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Ofsted, best practice and changes in legislation etc. In addition, there is also a clear focus on Safeguarding. We promote the education of staff teams and ensure they have clear access to Whistle-blowing under the terms of the Whistleblowing Policy, and have implemented a Whistle-blowing hotline that is accessible for any staff who needs to highlight bad practice and potentially abusive situations.

The team has also devised a number of educational leaflets and guides for staff to promote best practice. These are supported in the bi-annual newsletter 'Quality Matters' which also gives information of key changes in practice and legislation as well examples of best practice to share.

service user in the sensory room at Graham Anderson House

Compliments and complaints

The Quality Assurance team understand the importance of knowing how others feel about the services provided. All services have a comments box for unprompted feedback as well as regular questionnaires and surveys to identify specific themes and responses.

This comprehensive, transparent management of feedback and complaints is key to identifying positive methods of growth and development, both at service level and as a part of the Trust as a whole. The Quality Assurance team welcome your thoughts regarding compliments, comments and concerns. Contact us at CSSQA@thedtgroup.org.

We have a Whistleblowing policy and a dedicated e-mail address for Disabilities Trust staff to report their concerns: whistleblowing@thedtgroup.org and voicemail service: 01444 258599 (monitored on weekdays between 9:00am – 5.00pm only).

Future Focus

Following recent Quality Days, The Disabilities Trust's Quality Assurance department wishes to promote the concept of quality within the Trust, more specifically within individual services, as a way to promote and showcase what they do best. Quality means:

  • Placing the service user at the centre
  • Personal outcomes being achieved
  • Relationships between staff and service users being based on dignity and respect
  • Positive experiences of care provided through relationships based on mutual respect and consideration
  • Consistent, coordinated care and support tailored to service user needs

Annual quality reviews take place in every service with a key focus on how services evidence compliance with the above outcomes. Any actions identified will be translated into action plans by operational management. Where these issues identify areas of excellence and best practise, the Quality Assurance department ensures there is the optimum opportunity to share this news with colleagues at other services.

autistic male service user with support working on hand to eye coordination

Health and safety

The Disabilities Trust's Health and Safety team works to ensure that systems are in place within the organisation to provide and maintain a safe place of work and safe systems of work.

As well as ensuring that the buildings are safe, the team works closely with maintenance staff and contractors to make sure any machinery, equipment and installations are kept in a safe condition. They are available to support and advise staff at all levels in terms of the appropriate legislative requirements for a whole range of areas and disciplines including, but certainly not limited to; legionella, fire safety, electric and gas maintenance, COSHH and manual handling.

Quality means placing the service user at the centre.

Each service is visited a minimum of twice a year and all areas of the environment, systems and risk assessments are audited to ensure that they meet and exceed the legal minimum requirement. Where areas are identified as being 'non-compliant' or in need of further action then managers are supported with training, mentoring and support in the development of an action plan.

We work closely with our operational managers and teams to support positive relationships with other agencies including; Environmental Health, Public Health, the Health & Safety Executive, the Fire Safety Inspectors and other regulatory bodies.

If you have a question or query for our Health and Safety team please email csshealthandsafety@thedtgroup.org and a relevant member of the team will contact you.