On this page you will find information about the system of
monitoring the quality of social care services that we commission for
vulnerable adults in Northumberland. The services are provided by a
variety of organisations working in partnership with the full range
of local health and social care services.
Building on previous quality monitoring in older people’s services,
quality self-assessment and monitoring tools have been created by
commissioning and contracting officers on behalf of the Adult
Service and Housing Group of Northumberland County Council.
They have been specifically designed for providers of domiciliary
care, and also providers of residential care and supported living
services for people with learning disabilities. There are plans to
adapt these tools for use in other social care settings, such as
day services and for other vulnerable adults including those with
mental health problems.
The tools have been developed in partnership with service users,
advocates, carers and providers.
Quality Self Assessment tools
The tools form the basis of our annual provider self-assessment
process, which help services reach agreed quality standards and
demonstrate these achievements to commissioners. The quality
standards reflect our local priorities, expectations of the Care
Quality Commission and individual person-centred outcomes.
Assurance Self Assessment and Monitoring (QASAM) Tool (Domicilary
Assurance Self Assessment and Monitoring (QASAM) Tool (Learning
The self-assessment tool for learning disability services was
developed from a Customer
Charter, ‘How it should be’ and an outcomes
framework, which incorporated policy guidance, legislation,
best practice and the views of local service users and carers.
These documents received approval at the Northumberland Learning
Disability Partnership Board in April 2012.
Why are we doing this?
The quality monitoring system is based on the premise that
commissioners and providers have a joint responsibility to work
together to place people’s human rights at the heart of
commissioning and service delivery, and achieve the best standards
of care and support possible. The true test of a quality of service
is in the outcomes it produces for those individuals in receipt of
Whilst our quality monitoring system reflects our local priorities,
it will enhance the regulatory process of the Care Quality
Commission. The overall aims of the quality monitoring system are
to help providers reach agreed quality standards and demonstrate
these achievements to commissioners. Where standards fall short,
the self-assessment process provides a clear framework to plan
changes in order to improve standards and outcomes.
Within this process, the different self-assessment tools provide
information about what quality standards and outcomes mean for
individuals and the people supporting them. They offer suggestions
of what, as a minimum, needs to be in place to make things work
well, indicate good practice, and offer the scope for service
providers to demonstrate their strengths and unique contributions
to helping people meet their needs and fulfil their goals and
Our hope is that providers who have found ways to support people in
the best possible way will be keen to share these approaches to
contribute to quality care delivery across the whole County to all
adults. The process Providers are required, using the tools, to
undertake an annual self-assessment of their services against the
agreed standards, although continual self monitoring will be
expected all year round. Evidence will draw heavily on the customer
experience, involvement and outcomes.
Completed assessments will be submitted to
commissioning/contracting managers, resulting in monitoring and
validation visits to talk to service users and carers, hear
providers’ views of how well they meet the ambitions of their
service user customers and verify evidence submitted.
For further information
Carole Hadland: Email: Carole.Hadland@northumberland.gov.uk
Tel: 01670 622432
Nicola Boughen: Email: Nicola.Boughen@northumberland.gov.uk
Tel: 01670 622446
Maureen Thompson: Email: Maureen.Thompson01@northumberland.gov.uk
Tel: 01670 622444
Marshall Sisterson: Email: Marshall.Sisterson@northumberland.gov.uk
Tel: 01670 622443
Les Pickering, Senior Manager: Email: Les.Pickering@northumberland.gov.uk
Tel: 01670 622441