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Step up to Outstanding for Care homes

Step up to Outstanding is a six months coaching programme developed to support care homes with their improvement journey.

Read comments 2
  • Proposal
  • 2020

Meet the team


  • Sreelekshmi Sreekumar
  • Jan Nambio

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

Step up to Outstanding is a coaching programme developed by Issac Theophilos, Author of the social care best selling book – How to get outstanding: An ultimate guide for care homes.

He is the ex-manager of a dementia specialist nursing home which was rated by CQC as Outstanding in all the FIVE areas of inspection.

During the COVID time, the coaching programme was revised and adapted to be delivered remotely and improvement journey for the care homes was monitored by shared platforms.

The structure of the programme is to travel the journey with care homes going through 24 CQC KLOEs in detail and embedding change to make the care home deliver Outstanding care for the people they support.

What does your project aim to achieve?

Currently, only 0.04% of the care homes in England has achieved CQC Outstanding rating. This is a very small percentage when comparing the size of the social care setting.

Nearly, a quarter of the care homes are not even meeting the minimum Good rating.

The only tangible measurement of quality in care homes is through the CQC rating.

Structured coaching and mentoring programmes are unheard in the care home sector. Everyone tries to reinvent the wheel. The sector is also very sceptical about Quality improvement programmes.

Delivering Step up to Outstanding coaching programme helps the care home sector to understand the value of quality improvement and showing results by delivering amazing care.

How will the project be delivered?

The project will be delivered via zoom to a selected number of care homes by Issac and his team.

The QI will be tracked by the software. (Several are under consideration). The value of money is achieved in the following way:

  • Better managed the care home is – better care is delivered to the vulnerable people of our society.
  • Better systems and processes will help care home to improve thier operational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, by developing the skillset within the team to manage.
  • Better team culture, morale and staff retention.
  • Avoid wastage of public money when residents have to be transferred to new setting due to CQC regulatory enforcement.
  • Reducing clinical risks through better management.
  • £30k project will be a good investment to explore if this model works at a large scale. If Quality improvement is measurable, it could save millions from the public purse.

How is your project going to share learning?

The shared learning will happen between the care home leaders who engage in the Step up to Outstanding Coaching programme.

The tangible measurement of the QI is through a software – which could be shared with Q members and wider health and social care ecosystem to replicate the model.

How you can contribute

  • To speak to people who have done similar work with care homes to share their learning in implementing such a project.

Plan timeline

1 Mar 2021 Start date and identifying the care homes to participate.
1 Apr 2021 Start the sessions.
30 Nov 2021 Finish the project
31 Dec 2021 Publish the journey and outcomes


  1. Hi Isaac. It's great to see your idea for supporting care homes - a sector that would definitely benefit from more support for improvement. There are a number of proposals for Q Exchange relating to Care homes that you might want to take a look at and consider whether there are opportunities for collaboration or cross-support. In terms of developing your idea further, it would be good to hear how you would work with local partners, such as health and social care, alongside the care homes and whether there is any patient participation in the approach you take. You might also find some community groups in Q that are interested in your ideas - such as those focused on QI, community care or cross-sector working.

    Best wishes, Emma

    1. HI Emma,

      Thanks for taking time to read the proposal and comment on it. Much appreciated. I work in partnership with West & East Sussex Care Associations consisting of around 600+ care homes. But I would like to select only a small subset to start with and then roll it out at a scale. I am already doing similar work with care homes with great success in Quality improvement.

      Involving service users - It is covered under Well-led domain of the CQC inspections, which will part of analysing how the feedback is collected and acted upon. This project is all about enabling care homes to deliver the best possible care.

      Would love to get more comments.


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