This study set out to explore the demand for a new care home quality measure based on residents’ social care-related quality of life, as measured by the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit (ASCOT).

The study found: there is currently no summary measure of care home quality that specifically focuses on residents’ social care-related quality of life. Such information is likely to be helpful for prospective care home residents and their families when choosing a care home but would only be considered trustworthy if published by an independent, trusted source; local authorities said they would find the proposed measure useful for quality monitoring and improvement activities. However, they would not have the resources to keep ratings up to date and so were reluctant to make their ratings publicly available; social care professionals, including providers, indicated that such a measure could be used by care homes for quality assurance purposes and as such, might be used to demonstrate a commitment to quality improvement to CQC and local commissioners; ASCOT was adapted for use as a care home quality indicator with the corresponding data collection instruments, guidance and ratings system. The draft measure was piloted for quality monitoring purposes by one local authority quality monitoring team in two care homes for older people. Feedback was very positive, especially about the domains of quality of life and the focus on observing the lived experience of residents. Further development and testing of the data collection instruments, ratings system and guidance/training is required before the measure can be used as a care home quality indicator.

A new addition to quality monitoring? Development of a care home quality measure based on residents’ quality of life
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