The NESC has published two reports: one on standards in ‘Residential Care for Older People’ and one on standards in ‘Policing and the Search for Continuous Improvement’. According to the NESC, each report demonstrates different but effective approaches adopted to improve quality and standards in two of our public services. The NESC is also to publish reports on quality and standards in schools, on home care for older people, on end-of-life care in hospitals, on disability services and a synthesis report which draws the findings of all the work together.
The first report on quality of residential care for older people is part of a series of reports which make up the NESC project on Quality and Standard in Human Services in Ireland. This particular element of the series examines how quality processes, standards and regulation contribute to continuously improving human services.
Against the backdrop of the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland, which contains 32 different standards, the NESC report looked at five key themes including responsive regulation, involvement of the service user, monitoring and learning, devolution and accountability and addressing cost while improving quality. The Government have welcomed the report and views it as a very useful insight into the effectiveness of the reforms that have taken place in residential care for older people notably the success of the new regulations and standards are much more robust than those which applied previously, and consider that they have increased the quality of, and confidence in, care in this sector.
The second report, questions the assumption that progressing quality and standards in policing is often thought to involve a strong regulator rooting out bad apples based upon the framework of responsive regulation developed in NESC report no. 124. This report adopted the hypothesis that quality is often achieved by regulators stimulating those whom they supervise to self-regulate and evaluate, and enlisting third parties to add moral pressure and insight to this process. The most recent report looks at how policing has been affected by the establishment of a range of oversight and consultative bodies in Ireland since 2005.