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The 6Cs in social care

Skills for Care 6C’s. The 6Cs are the values which need to underpin the culture and practice of social care service who deliver care and support. Skills for Care have a new guide to explain how the 6Cs link to the important values, recruitment, qualifications, and leadership frameworks in social care.

What are the 6Cs?

  1. Care

  2. Compassion

  3. Competence

  4. Communication

  5. Courage

  6. Commitment They underpin Compassion in Practice, the national strategy for nurses, midwives and care staff. The 6Cs, were developed as a way of articulating the values which need to underpin the culture and practice of social care services who deliver care and support. These are immediately identifiable as values which underpin quality social care provision too. As integration between health and social care continues and increases it is helpful to focus on common values expressed in ways which increase consistency within all aspects of the work we do, the workforce, leadership and organisations.

Compassion in Practice The 6Cs are defined in Compassion with Practice as:

Care Care is the core business of social care services and the care delivered helps the individual person and improves the health of the whole community. Caring defines us and what we do. People receiving care expect it to be right for them, consistently, throughout every stage of their life.

Compassion Compassion is how care is given through relationships based on empathy, respect and dignity - it can also be described as intelligent kindness, and is central to how people perceive their care.

Competence Competence means all those in caring roles must have the ability to understand an individual’s health and social needs and the expertise, clinical and technical knowledge to deliver effective care and treatments based on research and evidence.

Communication Relationships are essential to effective team working. Listening is as important as what we say and do and essential for ‘no decision about me without me’. Communication is the key to a good workplace with benefits for those in our care and staff alike. Courage Courage enables us to do the right thing for the people we care for, to speak up when we have concerns and to have the personal strength and vision to innovate and to embrace new ways of working. Commitment A commitment to our service users and populations is a cornerstone of what we do. Staff need to build on our commitment to improve the care and experience of our service users, to take action to make this vision and strategy a reality for all and meet the health, care and support challenges ahead.

Learning Skills for Care have mapped the 6Cs at learning outcome level to the Care Certificate and the diploma in health and social care mandatory units at levels two, three and five. The mapping shows that the 6Cs values are relevant at all levels. It is important that learning providers see their work as an opportunity to embed the 6Cs into social care practice, through the values and behaviours they encourage and through the activities and materials they use.

Leadership The culture of a social care service is reflective of the values of those leading it. Every social care service and individual in a leadership role should ask whether the 6Cs underpin the leadership and management styles of the service. If they do not then it is unlikely they will be part of the social care service culture or experience of those receiving its services. Skills for Care, home of the National Skills Academy for Social Care, has published the Leadership Qualities Framework (LQF). It illustrates the attitudes and behaviours needed for high quality leadership at every level of the sector. Those using the framework may find it helpful to use the 6Cs by reflecting on how they demonstrate the 6C values within the domains of the framework.

Summary Registered managers should ensure that the 6Cs become an inherent part of the culture of their service. It is an essential part of the national strategy Compassion in Practice, and will be part of the new CQC approach to inspection. Albert Cook, BA, MA & Fellow Charted Quality Institute Managing Director Bettal Quality Consultancy

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