06 Oct Is CHAS a good investment for care companies?
When you think of Chas, you may be thinking of that solid, reliable guy next door to your great aunt Pen, who keeps an eye out for her, and that kind of Chas you can’t buy.
But no, this kind of CHAS, an accreditation scheme for Social Care Service providers, you CAN buy, and there are many reasons why the scheme is similarly trustworthy, and worth investing in.
As providers of compliance support services, the team at KCS Compliance Services are well versed in the process of getting accredited to schemes on behalf of clients. We have first-hand experience of what is involved in becoming a CHAS member, and it can be quite a painstaking task if you try to get there without help.
But we also get regular feedback on how beneficial the accreditation proves to be, and how it’s worth every effort in gathering compliance documentation and every penny invested in the scheme.
But first, what is CHAS for healthcare?
CHAS (Contractor Health & Safety Assessment Scheme) is one of the most widely recognised health and safety accreditation schemes in the UK. By joining the scheme and becoming accredited, your healthcare organisation can demonstrate compliance with policies and legislation that minimise risk for both your service users and staff.
Which health and social care providers find CHAS beneficial?
The simple answer is that all health and social care providers can benefit from being CHAS accredited. That includes providers of residential and nursing care for the elderly, day care for children, mental health care, supported and independent living care, domiciliary care and physical and learning disability care support.
So, why is CHAS a good investment?
National standardisation means improved care for everyone
CHAS is a national Social Care Services (SCS) accreditation programme that aims to provide standardised assessment criteria for all care providers with the aim of improving general standards of service and safety within the industry.
For example, any care home that is a member of CHAS will have to complete the full CHAS Healthcare log. This involves having up-to-date compliance and health and safety paperwork in place.
But more importantly, when a care home has CHAS, as a potential user or family member of a user, you can rest assured that as well as having all these policies in place the care home will be carrying out procedures to the highest standard of care.
CHAS unlocks new areas of potential work you can tender for
CHAS is a requirement in many tender applications. If you don’t have CHAS, then often you won’t meet the prerequisites of a tender and won’t be allowed to participate in the process.
Having worked alongside our sister company, Bid & Tender Support, which provides bid writing and support services, we have experienced cases where clients have been unable to participate in a tender because they didn’t have CHAS. But once accredited, whole new areas of local authority work have opened up for the clients, securing extra work for the future and bringing an excellent return on their investment in CHAS.
CHAS templates make it easier for you to assess, manage and measure your risks
Health and social care is a diverse sector which spans all age groups and entails care in workplaces, homes, organisations and communities. So, when it comes to assessing risk, each individual site must make their own detailed assessment depending on their specific work environment. Having a template to work to, as CHAS provides, can make this process much easier to manage. By setting standards and providing templates, CHAS supports you in managing risks.
It provides reassurance that you take a people-centric approach to your work and care
By becoming CHAS accredited, your organisation can show that you take your responsibility of looking after people in your care very seriously. This can improve your reputation. CHAS ensures you have basics in place, like adequate first aid provision and effective fire and evacuation systems, but it also includes more individualised care plans, where the specific needs of each individual user are assessed, monitored, and reported on. Caring for each individual is crucial in health and social care, and proof that you are doing so will win you more business.
The accreditation supports you in managing your business more effectively and efficiently
Your management methods and records will be more effective and efficient, and your company will be able to show a drive to be more environmentally and socially responsible, with the help of CHAS.
It helps you protect your employees and cultivate a strong team
CHAS supports organisations in protecting their employees from injury and risk and encourages communication between management and staff. The aim is to keep employees safe and happy in their work environment. Examples of standards assessed by CHAS include methods of lifting/moving patients in your care as well as guidance on managing, maintaining, and recording the testing of portable electrical equipment on site to make sure no one is hurt. If you take care of your staff, you’re more likely to retain your employees and build a happy team.
CHAS is recognised industry-wide and can improve your reputation and relations within the sector
By being CHAS accredited, your organisation may qualify for more work opportunities and new business. Prospective clients and subcontractors will be reassured that you have the knowledge, experience and training needed to effectively manage a wide range of risks in the workplace.
Being accredited protects you from penalties and prosecution
CHAS accreditation helps protect you from the risk of penalties and prosecution associated with non-compliance, and all this is achieved while you continue to improve your own standards.
Once accredited, CHAS is easy to renew
So long as you are good at keeping on top of your compliance documentation, the process of renewing your CHAS accreditation is straight forward. Once the initial proof of compliance is managed and recorded, an organisation can be easily assessed and annually reviewed by a single CHAS assessment body.
Of course, completing the full CHAS Healthcare log of required documentation may not be your favourite job, or even one you feel qualified to achieve.
Examples of paperwork required include Employee and Public Liability Insurances, a Health & Safety Policy Statement, risk assessments for safe working methods and service users, accident reporting, proof of fire and evacuation arrangements, evidence of equipment checks, methods of waste management and pollution control, proof of legislative compliance, evidence of business monitoring, audits and reviews, and records of staff training. And that’s not all of it.
It can make good business sense to outsource the task to specialist providers of compliance support services.
Contact KCS Compliance Services to learn how we can help get your health or social care service CHAS accredited.