The Care Quality Commission will continue its programme of targeted area reviews of the interface of health and social care following a request from the government.
The extension of the original programme of 20 reviews in local authority areas announced last year will initially see three new areas assessed and three follow-up visits to areas where weaknesses were identified.
Reports on the performance in the new areas - Staffordshire, Leeds and Reading – will be published by the end of the year. Follow-up reviews in Stoke-on-Trent, York and Oxfordshire will assess progress against action plans submitted following previous reviews.
A CQC report following the first wave of reviews published in July said that, while some systems were working well, there is too much poor practice caused by a lack of “co-ordination and co-operation” between health and social care services, leading to “fragmented” care services.
CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm said the next round of reviews would provide an important picture of what is working well, barriers to collaboration and the impact on people who depend on support.
“We look forward to sharing and building on the local good practice we have seen so far, for the benefit of the people that local authorities and health organisations support,” he said.
In March former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt said the forthcoming social care green paper would propose an extension of the local area reviews and mooted the idea of councils being given “Ofsted-style” ratings for commissioning.
Former CQC chief executive David Behan called for the regulator to be given more powers to inspect and rate local health systems before his departure in July.
The government is yet to formally respond to this recommendation, which was also included in July’s report.