‘Inadequate’ social care services will get year to improve or face closure under CQC plans

Social care regulator set to introduce new special measures regime for failing services

Adult care services that fail to improve within one year of being rated ‘inadequate’ will face closure under a new special measures system set to be introduced by the Care Quality Commission.

The commission’s proposals for the new system, which aims to tackle poor care, state that any service rated ‘inadequate’ overall will be immediately placed into special measures.

A service will be re-inspected within six months to check whether improvements have been made. If this has not happened, the commission will initiate cancellation proceedings.

Cancellation of the service’s registration will be completed if improvements have still not been made in a further six months.

For services that are rated inadequate in one of the five key questions – whether the service is safe, caring, responsive, effective and well-led – special measures will only apply if they fail to make sufficient improvements in that area within six months.

A special measures system was introduced in NHS Trusts following the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital scandal and plans to extend it to adult social care were announced earlier this year.

The scheme will cover 25,000 services and is due to take effect from next April, following the introduction of the CQC’s new ratings system this Autumn.

Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care are the Care Quality Commission, said: “I want to help the adult social care sector improve so that people can get the high-quality care they expect and deserve. But if providers do not or cannot improve, then we will take action that will lead to closure.”

The commission are now seeking further views on the proposals before the final policy is published. The closing date for responses is Friday 30 January.

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