Clann Mór Residential Services

Implementing the HIQA National Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities

Clann Mór is a community based Respite, Residential and Outreach Support service.  The service supports adults with mild and moderate intellectual disabilities to live permanently in community based homes or avail of a home support service or respite breaks.
We saw the introduction of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) National Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities as an opportunity to improve the services we provide and to implement change in our practices at a corporate level” explains Martine Healy, Director of Services, Clann Mór.  “We have always wanted to establish Clann Mór as centre of excellence for residential and respite services to adults with intellectual disabilities, the introduction of the national standards gave us the vehicle to undertake that journey.”
Having no Quality Management System (QMS) in place meant achieving this goal was always going to be challenging.  This was not a journey that we could undertake on our own due to a lack of resources, and a requirement for additional expertise in the area of Quality Management Systems, Risk Management, Interpretation of the HIQA standards, Personal Plans, Strategic and Operational Planning,   Governance Frameworks and Audit Management.”
After attending one of Health Care Informed‘s (HCI) educational seminars I knew this was a company that I wanted to work with.  Immediately, they understood our needs and broke down the development and implementation of the Quality Management System in to a clear work plan that we could follow and see visible outputs from each stage of the process.  They always had a very professional approach to their work and provided value for money in the service that they provided. The work they produced was exceptional and the way they interacted with service users really gave me confidence that I had chosen the right organization to partner with.”
The first step in developing the QMS was getting all stakeholders to acknowledge the gap that existed.  From there, we worked with HCI on Policy and Procedure development, Internal Audits and Key Performance Indicators and Quality Improvement Planning.  One of the things that really impressed me about HCI was their commitment to transferring knowledge throughout the process.  All of our staff were constantly learning from HCI, informally through daily discussions and formally through the extensive training programme that formed part of the service.  This learning was also transferred to service users and board members.”
We faced many challenges along the way: lack of resources; achieving buy in from stakeholders; problems with funding and an increased volume of work.  Having the support, guidance and experience of HCI through the very tough times enabled us to find positive solutions to overcome the problems.”
We implemented a QMS to drive real change in the organisation and to develop a better safer service for our users.  I am very happy to say that we have achieved this.  One of many benefits has been the development of a collaborative approach to improving the service we provide and the way we operate.  There has also been many tangible improvements in the form of evidence based best practice policies and procedures that meet the HIQA standards and were developed with our staff to reflect the service we provide, personal care plans, an improved governance structure and ultimately a safer service for our users.  Through the use of the Quality Management Information Software, Q-Pulse, we now have better control over our policies and procedures and have seen better reporting and analysis of incidents through the use of Corrective and Preventive Actions.”
Martine concludes: “After the completion of the 12 month project with HCI, we now have QMS that promotes our organization as a centre of excellence.  We continue to work with HCI to improve our existing QMS so that it meets the ongoing needs of Clann Mór.  There is constant change in the disability services sector, and it is key to our ongoing development to have a partner that can provide us with continued support and up to date advice on what new changes mean for our organisation.”