Capturing the 'voice' of the service user? An examination of inspection methodology used in Wales in registered care homes for people with a diagnosed learning disability.
Hulmes, David Alun
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study aims to explore the difficulties facing inspectors working for the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales in capturing the life experience of service users with a learning disability living in residential accommodation and whose ability to influence the world in which they live - including the regulatory process itself - can be curtailed by difficulties in communicating their wishes, views and feelings; sometimes severely so. The need to place service users' views at the heart of the regulatory process, and to promote their involvement and inclusion, is central to the regulatory function and to the work undertaken by individual inspectors. The study, based upon two research questionnaires, aims to establish which methods are most frequently used; which help to promote communication and whether inspectors have developed 'additional' strategies which may be more widely used. Questionnaires, received from 31 inspectors and 16 registered managers, generated both quantitative and qualitative data. Results showed a preference for announced visits rather than unannounced and routine engagement with service users and care staff, but not necessarily with other professionals. There were some regional variations in inspection methodology and approach and the professional background of inspectors had some bearing upon inspection strategy and outcomes. The study recognised an organisational trend with fewer 'social care' professionals recruited as inspectors, but more nurses from a 'general' background recruited during the last five years. The study also highlighted a significant number of participants who do not believe they have sufficient skills in what is a specialist area of work and an expressed desire for additional training in learning disability awareness and communication techniques.
MSc Interprofessional Studies
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