Adass and CSCI welcome adult care indicator review

Adult care directors and the Commission for Social Care Inspection have welcomed a Department of Health-led review of adult social care performance indicators for councils.

The review will examine adult care and related targets among the 198 national indicators that councils will be judged against from this year.

David Johnstone, chair of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services standards and performance network, said current indicators were “not good” and “it’s recognised that they need to be improved”.

They include the number of users per 100,000 population receiving self-directed support, delayed discharge levels, time­liness of social care assessments and the number of people supported to live independently through social services.

It is felt that the current set fits poorly with the government’s personalisation agenda.

CSCI policy manager for performance assessment Alan Rosenbach said the review was “vital”.

Johnstone said it would be difficult to change indicators for the 2009-10 financial year, but minor changes could be made next year, while “better and more realistic indicators” could be brought in within two years.

The news comes after the CSCI launched a consultation last week on reforming the annual adult care performance assessment for councils for 2008-9, under which authorities would face fewer bureaucratic burdens but a potentially more challenging regime.

Rosenbach said the level of data that councils were required to submit in their annual self-assessment could be cut by 20%.

CSCI has also proposed changes to the standards against which councils will be assessed, which Rosenbach said was about “continuing to drive improvement”. There would be greater weight placed on information from CSCI’s regulatory assessments of providers commissioned by councils and on authorities’ efforts to gather feedback from users.

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