How good is Home Instead compared to other care providers

With care services delivered into private homes remaining the government’s preferred method in which to support both elderly people and adults with learning disabilities, the lack of an easy to understand quality mark for homecare providers continues to bug the sector.

In response to this, healthcare information specialist Laing & Buisson has expanded its Care Compliance Monitor range to include a means by which to quickly see who the best homecare providers operating in England are.

Launched this month, the tool mirrors Laing & Buisson’s care home monitor tool – itself designed to fill the void left when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ended the star rating scheme in 2012 which led to a situation where finding out the quality performance of a provider was no longer a matter of looking at a simple to read, transparent headline rating.

This new Homecare edition of the tool pools headline data from CQC inspection reports and presents a digested view of facilities’ performance as marked against the five main inspection ‘chapters’ of the essential standards of quality and safety.

Based on Care Compliance Monitor: Homecare, data shows that there are nine local authority regions where all inspected homecare branches have scored a 100% rating across the five core inspection chapters: Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council; Bedford Borough Council; Bury Council; Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council; Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council; North Lincolnshire Council; North East Lincolnshire Council; and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council. Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the scale Barnet London Borough Council and North Tyneside Council both scored less than 60%.

Accordingly Laing & Buisson can present a league table showing the top ten homecare providers in terms of branches, with a corresponding listing for the percentage of branches which are fully compliant within these five headline grabbing standards chapters:

Home Instead Senior Care For-Profit 109 97.8%
Mencap Not-For-Profit 82 93.4%
Carers Trust Not-For-Profit 95 93.3%
Caremark Ltd For-Profit 59 93.3%
Voyage For-Profit 74 90.3%
Bluebird Care For-Profit 127 87.3%
Saga Homecare For-Profit 152 85.6%
MiHomecare Ltd For-Profit 61 82.9%
Carewatch Care Services For-Profit 99 81.2%
Housing 21 Not-For-Profit 116 72.8%

                                  Figures cover England-based homecare groups
© Laing & Buisson, 2013

While the care watchdog has announced a revamp of the way in which it both inspects and reports its findings, due in spring 2014, at present Laing & Buisson’s Care Compliance Monitor tools remain the fastest and simplest ways in which to get a picture of the level of quality both at an individual home/branch level and across entire care home and homecare groups.

The ability to manipulate this data at the click of a mouse makes the tool essential for both commissioners and providers alike as it means they can compile an almost unlimited number of league tables, enabling analysis at granular or national levels without the requirement to download sometimes hundreds of individual reports home or branch reports.

Data held uniquely within Care Compliance Monitor: Homecare answers questions including:

  • Which UK homecare groups do well and which do badly?
  • How are they changing over time?
  • How does the for-profit sector as a whole perform versus the not-for-profit and statutory sectors?
  • Which in-house council services are the best?

While the government deliberates how to fill this information void, Laing & Buisson’s Care Compliance Monitor: Homecare provides easy access updated quarterly and with fast web-links direct to latest online inspection reports held by CQC.

The toolkit comprises a series of Microsoft Excel worksheets populated with headline data from the care watchdog’s inspection reports presenting a digested view of homecare branch/group performance as marked against the five main inspection ‘chapters’ of the essential standards of quality and safety:

  • Standards of treating people with respect and involving them in their care
  • Standards of providing care, treatment & support which meets people's needs
  • Standards of caring for people safely & protecting them from harm
  • Standards of staffing    
  • Standards of management

Presenting the results of these inspections as a series of ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ marks in five corresponding columns, the total number of compliant chapters are given, providing an easily comparable quality marking.

With results for every homecare branch across the country – totalling over 8,000 services - the data can be easily manipulated in order to present league tables such as a ranking of the best to worse performing branches/homecare groups as well as listing the local authority regions where the highest performers are based to more detailed tables on which providers are succeeding or failing in a specific ‘chapters’. As such it is a key tool in the choosing of provider partners by healthcare commissioners while also serving as a engine by which providers can see how they compare to the market at large and to back up regional development plans.

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home