Key indicators vital for departments to obtain ‘good’ star ratings

Failure to meet minimum performance levels for
11 key performance indicators will automatically prevent councils
from being judged as providing a good service under the new
star-ratings system.

Current performance will be assessed on cost
and efficiency, effectiveness of service delivery, quality, fair
access to services and on meeting national priorities.

The Department of Health has issued details of
the new system, stating that separate performance judgements for
adults and children will be based on whether people are currently
being served well using the performance descriptions: “no”, “some”,
“most”, or “yes”.

Prospects for improvement for adults and
children services will be described as “poor”, “uncertain”,
“promising” or “excellent”. The four resulting judgements will then
be converted into the final star rating.

Under the minimum performance level
requirements for the key indicators, councils that fail to inspect
all their children’s homes, or have more than 20 per cent of
looked-after children with three or more placements, or have child
protection register re-registration levels exceeding 24 per cent
could only receive a maximum judgement of “some” people being
served well by current children’s services.

Likewise, councils that fail to inspect up to
1 per cent of all adult care homes and fail to deliver more than a
fifth of items of equipment costing less than £1,000 within
three weeks could only receive a maximum judgement of “most” people
being served well by adult services.

The principles underlying the rules used to
calculate the star ratings are that current performance is more
important than prospects for improvement; adult services and
children’s services are considered of equal weight; and “a
‘failure’ in either adult services or children’s services will
result in zero stars, no matter how good the other services

Councils will be informed of their star rating
four days before they are published in May.

There will be no special appeal process for
any disagreement about star ratings, but councils can write to the
chief inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate if
disagreements cannot be resolved regionally.

Smaller councils with a very small number of
cases will be exempted from the 11 key performance indicators where
one service user could have a significant affect on the value of an

– For the full list of the minimum performance
levels for the 11 key indicators, go to
and search with the words “star ratings”. A guide to social
services performance star ratings is available from,

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