CC Live: Reforms to social care inspections questioned

Service user and provider representatives raised serious questions about reforms to social care inspections, at Community Care LIVE today.

Gillian Dalley, chief executive of charity the Relatives and Residents Association, and Des Kelly, executive director of not-for-profit provider umbrella group The National Care Forum, both questioned whether the sector would be marginalised in a merged health and adult social care inspectorate, which will be created in 2009.

Dalley also voiced her opposition to the shift from regular, mandatory inspections by the Commission for Social Care Inspection to a system of risk-based inspection, focused on poorer providers, and cuts to its budget.

She said: “Reducing the burden of inspection is not appropriate for adult social care. It’s not a free market so people cannot simply take their business away from poor care homes.”

Kelly warned that providers lacked confidence that the Commission for Social Care Inspection’s new quality ratings system, under which they will be graded from one to four stars, would lack consistency.

He said: “We have to have confidence that inspectors are working to a framework that whichever inspector is inspecting a service they will have the same rating. I’m not sure that providers have that confidence at the moment.”

CSCI employees defended the reforms from the conference floor. Policy manager Paul Cohen said every provider would receive an annual assessment by CSCI, based on information including complaints, self-assessments and information from councils.

And inspector Joanna Carrington said the consistency of inspections was improving and inspectors had detailed criteria for judging services.


Further information
The Relatives and Residents Association

The National Care Forum


More from Community Care

Comments are closed.