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DISC is committed to the provision of high quality services. This can be demanding when providing complex services to people with diverse needs and in a variety of settings. DISC therefore uses a range of quality assurance strategies to ensure the quality of our services.
Where applicable, we use quality assurance systems which involve external inspection to give an independent perspective to our performance. A number of our services operate within the Adult Learning Inspectorate framework for example and we are similarly developing quality assurance frameworks in relation to drugs, independent living and community support.
Many of our services are measured externally by their achievement of measurable outputs and outcomes and all our services are rigorously monitored to ensure that performance targets are met. However for many of our service users, the distance they travel towards measured outcomes is the true indicator of whether they are making progress in improving their lives. We therefore place a great deal of emphasis on measuring 'distance travelled' within our work methodologies so that service users can assess their own progress.
The competence and skills of our staff are equally as important as the quality assurance framework we put in place. Our staff work with very deprived, demanding and often challenging service users in difficult settings. We therefore place a massive emphasis within the organisation on staff training and development and have recently altered our salary structure to reward staff who obtain additional qualifications and skills.
Positive about Disabled People
DISC is proud to display the Positive about Disabled People symbol which indicates our commitment to employ, retain and develop the abilities of staff who have disabilities.
Issued by JobcentrePlus across the UK, the symbol indicates that we are committed to:-
- Interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a job vacancy and to consider them on their abilities.
- Discuss with disabled employees, at any time but at least once a year, what both parties can do to make sure disabled employees can develop and use their activities.
- Make every effort to ensure disabled employees stay in employment.
- Ensure employees develop appropriate understanding of disability awareness to ensure these commitment works.
- Review these commitments annually, plan ways to improve on them and let everyone know about future plans.
Investors in People
IIP is an outcome focused award which helps organisations transform their performance by addressing a range of factors affecting success.
DISC were first awarded IIP in 1998 and we are pleased to announce that our recent inspection in 2010 confirmed our commitment to the award as we were once again granted IIP status.
The IIP inspectors provided us with some very positive feedback and quotes included in their report included
“I really feel like part of the organisation. There is a lot of support from senior managers.”
“It’s a worthwhile job, we are making a difference”
“I feel it is a more personalised approach, very service-user oriented”
“It’s the best company I’ve ever worked for. I haven’t got any negatives to say, it’s all been a positive experience.”
Information Governance is the framework which ensures we deal with information in an appropriate manner, in order to deliver the best possible care. It brings together all of the requirements of legislation, standards and best practice that apply to the handling of information, in particular personal identifiable information.
We recognise the importance of reliable information, both in terms of service users and management of services and resources and the importance of dealing with personal information in a legal, secure, efficient and effective manner.
We have a responsibility to ensure that there are robust information governance systems and processes in place to help protect both service user and corporate information.
We are classed as an NHS Business partner, we have access to N3 and we work within the following standards.
- Information Governance Management
- Confidentiality and Data Protection
- Information Security
- Clinical Information
- Corporate Information
Investors in Diversity
The Investors in Diversity Award is an all-encompassing approach to managing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) effectively.
It enables us to take a structured and planned approach to embedding equality and diversity at the heart of what we do whilst providing a simple framework in which to do so.
We were re-assessed for IID in October 2010 which involved consultation with employees, service users, volunteers, referrers and commissioners which focused upon the improvements and actions we have taken to promote diversity.
- DISC is an exemplar organisation
- Positive feedback from everyone who participated
- Service users very complimentary of the service they have received
- Ongoing commitment to diversity
- Diversity Champions are embedded and provide an important role within the organisation
- Reverse Mentoring opportunities are valued within the organisation
- Positive feedback on the routeway for ex service users and volunteers to become members of staff
Care Quality Commission
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.
Whether care services are provided by NHS, Local Authorities or voluntary organisations, CQC ensure that people get the best possible care by:-
- Encouraging improvement across health and adult social care
- Putting people first and standing up for their rights
- Acting quickly to remedy bad practice
- Gathering and using knowledge and expertise and working with others.
DISC achieved registration with CQC in March 2011 - a number of project which fall within our Clinical Governance Frameworks are now subject to CQC Regulation.
29% of our service users did not have a bank account (national average is 9%) and 61% of our service users are educated to below NVQ Level 1, meaning that they would struggle to use financial institutions.
DISC provides people with practical financial advice on setting up bank accounts and managing budgets, helping people who struggle to exercise their financial rights.