What is the Quality Framework?
Last year, we launched the Quality Framework which sets out the key ingredients to running a Healthwatch.
The framework tool was developed:
- To take stock of which aspects of your service are working well and where you can make improvements.
- To help local councils develop a more consistent approach to commissioning and monitoring local Healthwatch services.
- To help Healthwatch England identify where we need to provide more support and training, as well as the individual services which might need more help.
How can it help you?
Developed and tested in partnership with local Healthwatch, the framework is a self-assessment tool which Healthwatch boards and leaders can use to explore key questions such as:
- Which aspects of our work are more effective?
- Where can we improve things?
- What barriers do we need to address?
- What factors drive our success?
- What impact are we making?
By using the framework, you can also help the wider Healthwatch network by adding to our understanding of what makes an effective Healthwatch and the impact we are collectively achieving.
Is the information you share confidential?
Any information you share when completing the quality framework assessment tool remains confidential and can only be seen by Healthwatch England. We do not share identifiable information about your service with any third party.
What have we learned so far?
Over 20 Healthwatch have used the quality framework assessment tool so far and found it to be useful in several ways.
A chance to take stock
Board members and leaders have told us that they found the exercise itself useful. It provided an opportunity to bring together staff and volunteers to explore what they are doing effectively or could be better. This helped to develop a plan in partnership to harness their strengths or address any issues. It also helped frame conversations with their commissioners to highlight the totality of the work involved in running Healthwatch, and for some to review the monitoring arrangements.
Helps drive a wide range of work
The information generated from this teamwork has been used to in a variety of ways, such as:
- improving the way services are run
- setting work plans
- developing the ways boards work
- preparing for the retendering of a service.
Builds the confidence of boards
For many board members and leaders, the exercise provided assurance that the services they are responsible for are well run.
Adds to our collective knowledge
The evidence collected to date highlights the strengths of Healthwatch and areas that need improving – which in turn informs where Healthwatch England can focus our support. For example, all the Healthwatch who completed the framework have highly motivated and well-managed staff and volunteer teams. However, the same Healthwatch identified a need to improve their approaches to measuring impact – something echoed by many Healthwatch on other occasions.
Feedback from local authorities has also been positive, with over 20 councils already using the framework to help shape their service specifications and monitoring of contracts.