Quality checking in Kingston

The Foundation has had a contract with the Royal Borough of Kingston for over two years to improve the quality of support in residential and supported living services so that people with learning disabilities have a good life with lots of opportunities.

The latest, exciting development has been to set up a quality checking team with local people with learning disabilities carrying out checks on the services provided by a number of provider organisations and Kingston’s own supported living service.

We are going to use the REACH standards (nationally recognised standards) as the framework for carrying out quality checks which have a strong value base of people having choice about where they live, who they live with, how they are supported as well as by whom. The most important part of each check will be talking to tenants about their experiences but we will also be talking to managers and staff; the information we gather will be written into a report and action plan and then fed back to tenants and service providers. This will be a continuing process where we return to check on progress and propose a new action plan.

Last week we had the first of five training sessions with five people who live in Kingston who have learning disabilities and two people from the Foundation taking part. We talked about the different choices people have about where they live and how they get the support they need to live the life they want. In the next few weeks we will be learning about the supported living standards and the questions we need to ask tenants to find out whether they are being met.

At the end of the first session everyone was very excited about being part of the Quality Check Team and couldn’t wait to get going with the checks. Members of the team will write more about their work as it develops and are keen to hear from other people who are involved in quality checking projects.