Platt labels government approach to inspections regime as ‘farcical’

The chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection has branded
as a “farce” the government’s decision to scrap the regulator just
11 months after it was set up.

Denise Platt also confessed her fears that social care would be
marginalised in super-inspectorates for children’s and adult
services, plans for which were announced in the Budget in

She lambasted the government’s decision to abolish the CSCI so soon
after its creation, having previously decided to scrap predecessor
body the National Care Standards Commission 17 days after its

She told Community Care: “I don’t want to see the farce that we
have seen repeated. Social care regulation has had enough

She said the government should have waited until the CSCI had
completed its reforms of the regulation of providers before
considering plans to merge its children’s function with Ofsted and
its adult role with the Healthcare Commission.

She warned that social care could be marginalised, adding: “In
bigger institutions with bigger agendas you need to keep the voice
of people already marginalised at the centre. If the services fail
[social care users] there’s not a lot of social justice in the

However, she said much was up for grabs regarding the government’s
plans to merge 11 public inspectorates into just four.

In addition to Ofsted and the Healthcare Commission there will be
inspectorates covering council services and criminal justice.

Her own preference was for youth justice and community health
services for children to be included in a unified children’s

Platt also suggested that the government’s adult green paper would
need to be fleshed out in the current consultation phase, saying it
was “very easy to read the green paper and agree with it, but you
need to peel the onion”.

She was optimistic about how the King’s Fund-sponsored Wanless
review of social care might trigger more government funding for the
green paper reforms. She said: “A lot of us are relying on him. I
think the government is relying on him too.”

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