Care inspection body fears sharp fall in funding after review of quangos

    The Commission for Social Care Inspection is facing an uncertain
    future financially, with the Department of Health yet to reveal its
    grant level for next year.

    The CSCI fears a sharp drop in funding as a result of the DoH’s
    arm’s-length bodies review. But, with just six weeks until the
    start of the financial year, it has no idea how much it will
    receive.

    At last week’s monthly board meeting, chair Denise Platt said:
    “It’s disappointing we are coming to the end of the financial year
    and we don’t have any idea what our position will be for the next
    three years.”

    Director of corporate services Hazel Parker-Brown said there was
    a “threat” that the CSCI’s grant funding from the department would
    drop “very sharply” next year.

    CSCI attempts to transfer £3.8m from its 2004-5 budget to
    2005-6 are also awaiting DoH approval, and Parker-Brown said there
    was a risk the department might refuse to allow them to transfer
    the full amount.

    A DoH spokesperson said the CSCI’s budget had not been finalised
    and was “subject to decisions being made under the arm’s-length
    bodies review”.

    The uncertainty could explain the surprise 20 per cent increase
    in CSCI inspection and registration fees announced last week.

    Care home bodies have reacted angrily to the rise, calling for
    social services departments to compensate providers for the
    additional costs.

    English Community Care Association chief executive Martin Green
    said: “This announcement has a significant impact on the costs of
    care and is in sharp contrast with the fact that some local
    authorities have been announcing increases of less than the
    inflation rate.”

    The Registered Nursing Home Association’s chief executive Frank
    Ursell said: “As things stand, the vast majority of homes have no
    idea what their budgets will be for the 12 months from April.

    “It reflects the degree to which the funding of care for older
    people is at the bottom of the government’s list of
    priorities.”

     

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