More staff training benefits service users, finds study

More training for social care staff can lead to better outcomes for service users, a study has found.

More training for social care staff can lead to better outcomes for service users, a study has found.

The Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent analysed links between workforce development and quality of life for care home residents.

Using data from 125 care homes in England, analysts found that benefits, such as the homeliness of the environment, were likely to be more evident when more staff had NVQs or were working towards one.

There was also a link between the proportion of staff with NVQ Level 2 and residents’ involvement in community activities, opportunities for decision-making, and cleanliness and comfort.

But the report added: “The percentage of staff with NVQ2 was negatively related to the amount of contact people received from staff.”

It concluded that the overall picture varied: “Although the impact of training and qualifications such as NVQ are not strong, there are indications that these are positively associated with outcomes.”

The report, Measuring the Productivity of Workforce Development in Care Homes, commissioned by Skills for Care and Development, urged more investment in developing ways to determine the correlation more accurately.

The authors said there was potential for regulators such as the Care Quality Commission to incorporate these tools in their inspection framework, and the university research unit was already working with the CQC to support their development.

Sarah McCarty, executive director of Skills for Care and Development, said: “This research helps us identify what works and Skills for Care and Development intends to use the results to do more to help employers evaluate and improve their investment in workforce development.”

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