Inspections ‘on the way within a year’

Social services departments could be inspected on their single
assessment process (SAP) by next year, older people tsar Ian Philp
said last week.

An inspection regime is likely to follow publication of the review
of the older people’s national service framework in early 2005.
Developing a joint inspection process will also be one of the first
tasks carried out by the new Commission for Social Care Inspection
and Commission for Health Audit and Improvement when they begin
operating next month, Philp added.

He said standards were likely to run in shadow form first, and
would be based around a small number of national standards
complemented by local indicators.

Philp told a Department of Health conference he was confident most
local authorities would meet the 1 April deadline for implementing
the main requirements. These include placing older people at the
heart of assessment, ensuring care plans are produced and that
clients receive a copy, and collating and sharing information with
all SAP stakeholders.

He added that research had shown that applying the SAP process
could help improve outcomes for clients and reduce demand for acute
hospital and long-term nursing home care.

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