Adult care provider leaders have called for urgent action to end duplication in monitoring services in England by the Care Quality Commission and councils.
The English Community Care Association and Voluntary Organisations Disability Groupurged the CQC and the Associa-tion of Directors of Adult Social Services to speed up developing a protocol on the responsibilities of councils and the regulator.
A working group of ECCA, VODG, Adass and the CQC’s predecessor, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, was formed last year after duplication issues were raised.
It commissioned an independent review which found that a sample of eight councils had all introduced or were about to introduce a contract monitoring process for providers. Generally, site visits were to be made every six months or yearly.
Half had introduced schemes for rating the quality of provision. Although some built on the CSCI’s quality ratings, “others were completely independent”.
About half of the providers polled said there was duplication with council contract monitoring visits similar to inspections by the CSCI, whose role was absorbed by the CQC in April.
Information not shared
Ann Mackay, director of policy at ECCA, said providers were asked the same questions by inspectors and councils, and information was not shared.
She said councils that produced their own quality ratings, alongside the CQC’s, risked wasting public money. “We’d like a deadline for the production of a protocol,” she said.
Sarah Norman, co-chair of the Adass standards and performancenetwork, said there were issues not covered by the CQC thatcouncils needed to assess. “Every-thing we can do to strengthen information sharing is important to avoid duplication,” she said.
Peter West, head of commissioner methods at the CQC, said there was no timetable for completing the protocol, but added: “We’re keen to get it done as soon as it is practicable.”