Going the extra mile

The words ‘Quality Accreditation’ usually elicit a collective sigh from most workforces. Here at ReGen we are no different, but in spite of that, we recognise and value the opportunity it gives us to focus on how far we’ve come and to celebrate our achievements.

In 2001, ReGen became the first Victorian alcohol and other drug (AOD) service to receive accreditation for its Continuous Quality Improvement systems. Since then, a three-yearly review cycle by an independent accrediting body (QICSA: recently changed to QIP) has provided the agency with an effective structure for organising our ongoing work to improve our services. It has also helped identify areas in which we needed to improve to manage potential risks and ensure the sustainability of the organisation.

ReGen underwent its sixth external review in March 2013.

While preparations for these reviews require substantial time and effort across the organisation, they also provide opportunities to recognise just what we’ve been able to achieve and further opportunities for improvement. Typically, the day-to-day demands of providing services, developing our workforce and ensuring we are strategically positioned to achieve the best outcomes for people using our services and ensure our ongoing sustainability, mean that we don’t have time to reflect on our successes.

ReGen is very proud of its services. We work hard to make sure they keep providing practical and meaningful supports for people seeking to overcome the impacts of problematic AOD use on their own (and their families’) lives, and that they are integrated with other complementary services.

It’s even better when our work is recognised by expert external reviewers.

In 2013, as well as assessing ReGen’s systems as having met all of the 18 Quality Improvement Council standards for Health and Primary Care Services, the review team rated us as having ‘Exceeded’ for three key standards.

The three standards (and key strengths identified by the review team) were:

  • Coordinating Services & Programs
    • This encompassed both ReGen’s internal and external co-ordination, and also strong ethics processes.
  • Collaboration & Strategic Positioning
    • ReGen engages in partnerships that are clearly considered and appropriately targeted, and the organisation has an ongoing commitment to working in partnership with external services.
  • Community & Professional Capacity Building
    • ReGen is building the capacity of people who use its services, as well as ReGen staff and sector workforce, and encompasses clinical work as well as training delivery. ReGen’s inclusive approach to capacity building is highly valued.

There were also a further three standards which were judged to be close to exceeding:

  • Incorporation & Contribution to Good Practice
  • Focussing on Positive Outcomes
  • Human Resources

Overall, the external accreditation review team identified the following key strengths and challenges:

Strengths

  • Commitment to innovation and collaboration
  • Focus on inclusion - overcoming barriers to treatment access
  • High quality services
  • Responsive and open to feedback

Challenges

  • Resource limitations
  • Uncertainty relating to the outcome of the Victorian AOD reform process
  • Consumer participation - good progress but still some way to go
  • Diversity - lack of ongoing funds to effectively support culturally and linguistically diverse community partnerships.

ReGen will endeavour to build upon these strengths and meet these challenges as we continue to develop our services and participate in the Victorian AOD treatment reforms.

‘I appreciate what I was shown and taught. All the staff were so easy to converse with, and even with the guilt of lapsing, I was able to talk to them. I told my counsellor the next day that I’d done it. They accepted it. And even though I’ve lapsed a couple of times, I haven’t relapsed, and I don’t intend to. I couldn’t have asked for any better help than I got. I had ups and downs but I still got through it and it still worked. I’d recommend Catalyst to anyone. I’ve got a lot that I owe ReGen and I’d like to pay something back. That’s why I’d like to start coming to Momentum. Even if one good word I say helps someone.’

Frank, aged 46

‘I’m much closer with my family now and now my mum will call me and say ‘let’s go for brunch’ or something, rather than me calling her and going round because I’m wanting money or something. I spend heaps more time with my nephews and niece. It’s good to be trusted again.’

Charlotte, aged 29