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2: Why communications is important

A plan for communicating the outcome of an assessment is vital and part of good leadership.

Effective communications has an important role to play in delivering a well-run assessment and to help your council embed a culture of quality and improvement.

It is likely that in planning communications for the CQC assessment, your leaders will think immediately of how to manage the council’s reputation.

This is ok and reputation is important. A good reputation gives the organisation the firm ground on which to build productive relationships with the people who matter: your clients, customers and residents; your partners and providers; the council’s employees; and councillors.

This reputation could be seriously undermined if you have a poor assessment, or you are deemed to need some kind of intervention. You need to plan for that.

You need a plan anyhow, because there are other ways that communications can and should support your journey through the assessment.

Effective communications is part of good leadership. So, how will you ensure your senior councillors and officers have the knowledge, advice and challenge they need to lead and communicate well?

All employees in the adult social care team will of course be interested in what’s happening – they are emotionally invested in their work – and will be concerned too as it comes under intense scrutiny.

You should have an employee communications and engagement plan for the council and the service and this needs to be reviewed and overhauled for the assessment.

Your partners and providers are at the heart of how you delver adult services so of course they need to be informed, as well as involved and engaged in the process – and they will be central to the improvement plan emerging from the assessment whatever your rating.

And the people you serve, whilst not that interested in the CQC process per se, may still require information and reassurance if the assessors are around the place, but especially if the subsequent assessment is poor and changes have to be made.