Inspectors will not be “over-zealous“ commission head promises

    National Care Standards Commission chairperson Anne Parker has
    sought to reassure care home owners that though her organisation
    will be enforcing the incoming standards, they were acutely aware
    they must not “sink the ship” by overzealousness,
    writes Janet Snell.

    Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference in Manchester she
    pledged that the commission would, where possible, try and work
    with providers to rectify problem areas rather than act in a
    confrontational way.

    She added that she was conscious there were high expectations of
    what could be achieved. “Somebody said to me ‘oh, you’re going to
    be the people who will stop all those awful things happening’.”

    The commission’s key role was to “build capacity, manage
    catastrophe and achieve credibility” Parker explained, adding: “We
    want to earn the respect and even the grudging admiration of the
    people whose services we will be inspecting and regulating.”

    But the task in hand could only be achieved in partnership.

    Her message was echoed by Chris Hume, a former director of
    social services and now programme manager with the Department of
    Health’s social care group responsible for establishing the

    He said the job to be done should not be underestimated: “It’s a
    huge task for the department and in many ways a scary one, setting
    out clear expectations in terms of standards.”

    He explained that a key function of the new commission would be
    collecting data on areas such as falls, pressure sores and deaths
    so it could respond to warning signs and concentrate efforts on
    those areas that most needed it.

    “The aim is not to cause chaos in the care sector. The aim is to
    provide minimum standards below which people cannot operate.”

    Hume said new standards for foster care, domiciliary care and
    adoption agencies were expected by late summer.

    Standards on children’s homes and care homes for adults were
    currently out for consultation.

    In response to suggestions by some members of the audience that
    too much was being asked of them he replied: “If the sector comes
    back with a resounding ‘no this cannot be achieved’ then the
    department will clearly have to take that into account.”






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