Platt renews attack on dismantling of CSCI

The government’s U-turn on merging the five criminal justice inspectorates calls into question its plan to dismantle the Commission for Social Care Inspection, CSCI chair Denise Platt said yesterday.

The reversal followed criticisms the status and independence of the chief inspector of prisons would be reduced by the criminal justice proposal.

At a press briefing, Platt said the same could be said of the status of social care inspection, in the light of the plan to transfer CSCI’s children’s functions to Ofsted next year and merge its adults’ role with the Healthcare Commission in 2008.

She said: “It’s about having parity of esteem [with other sectors].”

Both sets of proposals were announced as a package in the 2005 budget to cut the number of public service inspectorates from 11 to four, however the U-turn means there will now be eight.

Platt, a long-standing critic of the plan for CSCI , whose termination was announced 11 months after its creation, said there was much more the inspectorate would have done had it been given a longer lifespan.

She cited its Experts by Experience scheme, which involves service users in adult inspections, which it has not applied to children’s services because of the Ofsted takeover.

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