Inspection merger delayed

The merger of the Commission for Social Care Inspection’s adult role with the Healthcare Commission is set to be pushed back a year, it has emerged.

The merger, announced in the 2005 budget was meant to take place by 2008 but sources say this will now be put back until 2009.

The legislation containing the plans is set to be dropped from the Queen’s speech later this month.

The delay is not believed to be due to the government changing its mind but as a result of complications with other parts of the health bill the plans are contained in.

The CSCI’s children’s functions are still on track to be transferred to Ofsted in April of next year.

Ray Jones, chair of the British Association of Social Workers, said the government should use the delay to reassess its decision to merge the CSCI’s adult role and in effect dismantle it.

“The government might want to go one step further and not just delay the development of a new inspectorate but confirm that it values social care strongly enough and so it should have its own inspectorate,” added Jones.

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