Consumer ratings sites
A number of online ratings services have been set up recently or are being developed to enable people to rate social care services they have received. They include:-
Good Care Guide – set up by flexible working consultancy My Family Care and intergenerational social enterprise United for All Ages, enabling people to review registered childcare providers, home care and care homes across England; providers can pay for enhanced listings.
Better Care Guide – set up by social enterprise Really Care CIC; enables people to review regulated home or residential care services across the UK; providers can regsiter for free to enhance their listing.
Rate My Care – set up by former care inspector Dr Marion Whitton; enables families to rate care homes and home care services across England, and providers to post information on themselves for free but then be charged for every user who looks at their profile.
Find Me Good Care – set up by the Social Care Institute for Excellence and due to launch later this year; will provide information on regulated and unregulated social care services in England and more general information about finding care; only those services where providers have paid for an enhanced listing can be reviewed.
Fifty thousand care home residents will be asked to rate their homes this month in the first in an annual series of surveys launched by care providers to provide comparative performance information on services.
Your Care Rating has been launched by 13 regional and national providers to commission the annual survey, from market research company Ipsos MORI, and publish information on residents’ views of their 850 homes. Your Care Rating aims to increase the number of participating providers over time.
“The Your Care Rating survey is an opportunity for customers to say what they think about a range of issues,” said Douglas Quinn, Your Care Rating founder member and chair of Castleoak Group, a care home building and property company. “It will help those looking for a care home to make an informed decision based on residents’ real experiences.”
“A great deal of care has been taken in the design and piloting of the survey to make sure that the survey is accessible to as many residents as possible. The process has been designed to allow relatives, friends and volunteers to assist residents with survey completion, but it is the residents’ views that will be captured.”
Rise of care ratings services
Your Care Rating is the latest in a series of initiatives to provide consumer ratings of social care services, joining a number of online services (see right). The trend is endorsed by the government in its White Paper on care reform as a way of helping families choose care services and driving improvement among providers.
The Department of Health plans to establish a portal on the NHS Choices website drawing together information on care services from the Care Quality Commission, “high-quality” consumer ratings services and other sources, including providers themselves.
For instance, nine of the largest care providers in England have agreed to start publishing information about their performance in areas such as staff turnover and complaints, as part of a “transparency and quality compact” that will inform the DH’s provider profiles.
About Your Care Rating
The Your Care Rating survey covers homes across the whole of the UK that mainly, though not exclusively, serve people aged over 65. It is open to organisations of any size.
The participating providers are: Anchor, Avante Partnership, Barchester Healthcare, Borough Care, Care UK, Community Integrated Care, Coverage Care, The Fremantle Trust, Greensleeves Homes Trust, Guinness Care and Support, HC-One Limited, Methodist Homes and The Orders of St John Care Trust.
Your Care Rating has been set up as a not-for-profit company overseen by a steering group consisting of representatives from many of the providers.