Last January, Community Care published a letter from an inspector expressing concern at the dwindling frequency of inspection in adult social care.
It followed the Commission for Social Care Inspection’s move to a more proportionate model of inspection, which harnesses self-assessment and improved intelligence to identify the areas of greater concern and focuses resources accordingly.
A handful of other inspectors came forward in support, suggesting the new approach was being driven by budgetary not service need.
CSCI were extremely unhappy that we gave these concerns credence saying the views were not representative of their inspectors. It was a fair point. But, with so much resting on an effective system of regulation, we felt we had to air the issues.
This week, a survey by Unison reveals wider concern among CSCI staff about the standard of inspection. CSCI once again claim it’s unrepresentative. But, with the views reflecting 11% of its workforce, the time has come to address the issue, not deny it.
The new approach to inspection makes sense, recognising the importance of not tying up organisations in red tape if they can readily demonstrate their excellence. But, its apparent lack of responsiveness to some complaints about providers is understandably being questioned.
As the transfer of CSCI’s responsibilities to a health and social care regulator approaches, we must ensure that tomorrow’s inspectorate has the capacity to respond.