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SARH’s Independent Living Services makes the grade

A STAFFORD housing association’s work to protect vulnerable customers from potential abuse has been awarded an A-grade against standards set for Safeguarding.

The Stafford and Rural Homes ‘You First’ team has achieved a Quality Assessment Framework (QAF) grade A, the highest possible, following an inspection of its Independent Living services by Staffordshire County Council.

QAF was introduced in 2003 and sets out the national standards expected for housing related support services for older and vulnerable people.

“Achieving a QAF grade A shows SARH’s commitment to putting customers’ needs first and always striving to improve the service we offer,” said Sarah Wyke, Head of Independent Living and Customer Services.

The Quality Assessment Framework is graded A to C, with C being contract compliant, B being a good service and A being an excellent service striving to be leaders in the field.

The day-long assessment involved checking SARH’s working practices including monitoring records, support plans, risk assessments, policies and procedures relating to abuse against staff knowledge and training records to see if it meets QAF strict standards.

The assessment also looks at whether customers understand what abuse is and how to report their concerns.

“In 2006 we were a C rated service and now thanks to the hard work and dedication of our You First staff we have stepped up our rating firstly to a B in 2011 and now to an A,” said Karen Armitage, Chief Executive of Stafford and Rural Homes.

“Our reputation for delivering services to older people and safeguarding adults and children is significantly enhanced by this excellent accreditation.”

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