Tougher star ratings backed by Byrne

Councils will face a tougher test of their adults’ social care services in this year’s star ratings, with a closer focus on commissioning and user involvement.

Care services minister Liam Byrne has endorsed Commission for Social Care Inspection proposals to toughen up the standards governing this year’s star ratings, the first to solely cover adult social care.

There is a new standard that measures how well councils seek and act on feedback about their services, and the extent to which service users and carers are satisfied.

On commissioning, there is a new standard measuring the extent to which councils have analysed the need for services and the care market, and have set improvement targets.

This will be a transitional year for inspections. With the publication of the health and social care white paper this week and the move to merge CSCI and the Healthcare Commission by 2008, assessments for the two sectors look set to be more closely aligned from next year.

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