Care Standards Commission hopes to broker deal on homes insurance costs

The National Care Standards Commission is in talks with insurers
and banks to tackle the growing problem of spiralling insurance
premiums for care homes.

Anne Parker, chairperson of the NCSC, said she hoped care homes
could benefit from discussions it was having with insurers and
banks aimed at producing “stability in the market”.

She was addressing the south east England regional conference of
social care training body Topss last week.

She said: “It is about how the information we gather could help the
insurers and banks and how their information could help us. We
might produce information that groups of service providers and
individual operators could benefit from.”

Parker also apologised to the sector for the poor performance of
the NCSC in feeding back information to care homes – it returned
only 43 per cent of the 50,000 inspection reports it wrote in its
first year of operation. She blamed this on “major problems” with
its new and untested IT system.

While acknowledging the commercial sensitivity of care homes
divulging fee charges, Parker said she hoped more would give that
information in the future so that “we can see the relationship
between fees and care”.

The NCSC is also offering help to boost the sector infrastructure
by enabling better access to administrators, facilitators and
training, particularly for smaller operators.

“These are very small businesses and they regard a number of the
standards as being too bureaucratic and onerous,” Parker said.
“There are elements of the work that have been poorly developed and
it is one of the key problems for the sector.”

Last year, the NCSC closed four out of 30,000 care homes and issued
120 statutory notices and 2,600 urgent actions.

There were no prosecutions, and Parker said the balance between
support and enforcement was “something we will have to pay close
attention to”.

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