NHS Arden Commissioning Support Unit has created a care quality dashboard for nursing homes which is due to be rolled out across Worcestershire next month.

The CSU developed the Care Homes Quality Dashboard in order to improve the monitoring of patient quality and safety standards across nursing homes. It will roll-out the system to 58 homes in partnership with three local clinical commissioning groups.

Daniel Farr, quality monitoring officer at the CSU told EHI the initial project started about two years ago to tackle low response rates.

“We used to send an Excel spreadsheet to care home providers to fill out key data but we had a very low return rata and the questions weren’t completely filled out,” he said.

“There wasn’t a lot of contact in quality monitoring in care homes. In the acute sector they report everything; but in care homes it’s been overlooked.”

The online-based dashboard works as a self-assessment tool where the care homes report on a series of clinical key performance indicators such as its pressure ulcers, hospital admissions, infection controls and falls.

The dashboard also has a ‘serious incidents’ and ‘never events’ reporting portal where the care homes can alert the local patient safety team of an incident.

“There’s not a culture to be transparent and reporting things like that in the care homes sector,” said Farr.

“We are trying to change that, and now they can notify us if there has been an incident.”

He added: “Originally it was a bit of a challenge with some culture change needed as they were just not used to having to report this."

The dashboard was first piloted with 25 nursing homes, which helped shape the system before the final version was created.

Six months ago, it was rolled out to 60 nursing homes in Coventry and Warwickshire, all of which are now submitting data. The care homes can also look at their own data and use it for their own reporting.

“As well as the dashboard, we created a website to go with it with information and guidelines so they also have a resources and information that is of benefit to them,” Farr added.

Farr said that he expects the system to go live in the nursing homes in Worcester by July.