11 September 2013

Today sees the launch of the Driving Up Quality Code with an event attended by the Minister of State for Care and Support, Norman Lamb.

image: Driving-up-QualityThe code was developed by the Driving Up Quality Alliance and is a voluntary code of conduct for providers and commissioners. The formation of the Alliance and subsequent drafting of the code was a direct response to the abuse at Winterbourne View, and marks an obligation to taking steps to both avoid the recurrence of what happened at Winterbourne View and ensure people with learning disabilities, or behaviour that challenges, can look forward to an ordinary life with high quality support.

Signing up to the code is a public commitment to driving up quality and organisations that sign up are demonstrating their resolve to go beyond minimum standards in providing support for people in their care. Organisations who sign up will also be expected to assess themselves annually and publish what they find.  Commissioners too will be encouraged sign up to the code and to actively use it in their commissioning process.

The Association for Real Change is proud to be a founding member of the Driving Up Quality Alliance, which is unique in being provider-led. Collectively the umbrella bodies forming the Alliance, represent 80% of all learning disability service providers in the country. As a member of the Alliance we believe that all providers need to take responsibility for making the services we provide better and more transparent and the code represents a means by which this can be achieved.

The code outlines good fundamental practices and behaviour, is complimentary with the Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) Making it Real markers and the Challenging Behaviour Charter, and is, crucially, easy to understand and follow.

The code aims to:

  • Drive up quality in services for people with learning disabilities that goes beyond minimum standards
  • Create and build a passion in the learning disability sector to provide high quality, values-led services
  • Provide a clear message to the sector and the wider population about what is and what is not acceptable practice
  • Promote a culture of openness and honesty in organisations
  • Promote the celebration and sharing of the good work that is already out there.

Speaking of the Code, Norman Lamb, said:  .

“This is an excellent document which has been prepared by the learning disability provider sector across England. I am very pleased that providers are taking responsibility for ensuring there is a culture of continuous improvement and transparency. I understand that both the Association of Directors of Adult Services and the Care Quality Commission are fully supportive of the Code, and we would like to see it become the industry standard across the learning disability sector. I particularly want to endorse this code because it addresses some of the fundamental issues that were identified at Winterbourne View… I hope that this will lead to real action that will help to transform people’s lives.”

Jacqueline Bell, Chief Executive of ARC, said:

“As a committed member steering the Driving Up Quality Alliance, we fully endorse the code and we welcome its publication as a significant step towards improving the sector’s reputation, behaviours and practices, and, ultimately, making a real difference to the lives of people with a learning disability. If the code doesn’t do that and the changes fail to materialise, then we will all have failed – the people in our care will continue to be shackled to the mistakes of the past!

As one of the largest learning disability associations, we’re now asking our members what we can do to to help them successfully implement the code and really use it to improve quality across their whole organisation – I’ll also be asking if they haven’t signed up, WHY NOT?

We are determined to make a positive difference and to help providers who sign up and implement the code show how much they really do care.”

Further Information

Download a copy of Driving Up Quality Code

Show your commitment to improving the lives of the people you support – Sign up to the code

For further responses to the code read the Driving Up Quality Code Press Release here.

Visit the Driving Up Quality Website and find out more about what the code is, what the code isn’t, examples of good practice and a guide to self-assessment.