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NEW SQUADS TO INSPECT CARE HOMES

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Specialist enforcement teams will tackle poorly performing care services....
Specialist enforcement teams will tackle poorly performing care services.

Based in each of the Commission for Social Care Inspection's seven English regions the teams will be led by regulation managers supported by specialist inspectors and other staff.

They will work with CSCI's lawyers to improve the speed, quality and consistency of enforcement activity. CSCI will inform local authorities about poorly performing care services in their area and the legally binding 'requirements to improve' placed upon services by inspectors.

CSCI chair Denise Platt said:

'The new regional enforcement teams will allow us to be more effective at tackling poor providers, not just in responding to concerns, but also being clearer about when, and how long, providers should be given time to improve before taking enforcement action to close them down.

'We will work with the government to see how the law on protecting adults can be brought into line with the laws protecting children, to ensure that the rights and welfare of vulnerable adults are promoted and safeguarded in the same way as for children.'

CSCI are also seeking additional powers of prosecution in situations where there have been serious breaches of the regulations or where the safety or care of people has been compromised, but where the situation does not meet the criteria for urgent action or closure.

Proposals to boost CSCI's enforcement activity were discussed at a meeting of commissioners yesterday (details here). CSCI will also give greater prominence to its enforcement activity in the media.

Over the nine months to December 2006, 72% of services assessed to be poor have improved or closed down. The use of statutory enforcement powers is estimated to have played a part in 16% of these.

Children & adult services

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