The Care Quality Commission will continue to inspect councils when it has concerns about their adult social work practice, care minister Paul Burstow has revealed.
Earlier the week Burstow announced that the CQC would no longer conduct an annual assessments of councils.
Burstow said: “There will still be the possibility of inspections being triggered on the basis of risks and concerns.”
He said the government wanted inspections to be more responsive, adding that the current system took up to a year between inspection and publication.
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Burstow said the new inspection arrangements would change CQC’s relationship with councils. “It will be more about quality assurance and working with them to ensure quality across providers,” he added.
However, providers’ organisations said this could create an imbalance of power in local care markets. “We are increasingly going to see councils having absolute power in all sorts of situations without anyone to challenge them,” said
“Poor quality commissioning often leads to bad provision, and the point of an integrated regulator was that they were going to have power to support quality in both commissioning and provision,” added Green.
Colin Angel, head of policy at the United Kingdom Homecare Association, said providers would be concerned if the triggers for inspections of councils were set quite high because councils were being handed a lot of responsibility to manage markets for care and they needed to be accountable.
Burstow said more details on how inspections would be triggered would be published later this year in a consultation document on the transparency and outcomes framework for adult social care which is due to be published alongside it’s vision for adult social care.
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