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Good care hasn’t changed much over the years; it has evolved and become more accountable, but the underpinning foundations of compassion, kindness, teamworking, attention to detail and personal preferences remain as true today, as ever.


The website and associated resources are the work of the Towards Outstanding team.

Whilst our work and methods are not endorsed by any regulatory authority,  we rather hope that there is nothing contained within that would be at odds with the views of others who work in health or social care, or in regulation. The key messages and how we work support reflection on how well a service meets the expectations of the legislative framework, but we are not going to tell you, in detail, how to run your service, nor can we  give you an unearned advantage in any inspection process, wherever you are based. 


We cannot offer you an improved rating. We have no influence over that process: In England,  the Care Quality Commission has a strict quality assurance and benchmarking process, whereby inspection ratings are agreed. Quite rightly the process does not accept third party interference in their determinations. Increasingly, the ratings process is related to objective outcomes centered around risk reduction and quality performance indicators. 


We hope you do get improved ratings, particularly if you are using our materials or following our advice and recommendations, but more importantly, we want more people to experience very high quality care. We want staff to be engaging with service improvements and enjoying their work. 


The premise of the our system and resources are that providers and staff will reflect, with honesty, on how they deliver care and treatment and then use those reflections to drive improvements. There are no guarantees: Providers and  staff have to put the effort into understanding their own service,  being honest about shortcomings and recognising the strengths, so that the staff can build on them. What we offer in terms of books, support and courses will hopefully guide providers towards an understanding of where they need to travel, but it is not a free ticket.


There is no easy ride to excellence. Indeed, putting the work in and seeing the fruits of your labours is part of the joy that comes with improved outcomes. It offers a way of thinking, not a replacement for thinking. Achieving excellence, working together to deliver high quality care and treatment are why most people entered the caring professions; reflective practice is a very powerful way of reminding ourselves what is important.


In short, we cannot be held accountable for the success of your service or staff or the quality of care you choose to provide;  that is something providers and staff teams need to work at together. 


There are a few resources available on an internet search that do offer a promise (or at least a suggestion) that they will improve your ratings.  They might, but are aimed at providers with quite a steep climb to good rather than those who aspire to excellence.  An improved rating does not necessarily mean sustained high quality care. 


Information produced by public bodies in the UK, such as the Care Quality Commission, NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care is included and used in accordance with the Open Government Licence v3.0.

The licencing conditions can be found at

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