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The Commission for Social Care Inspection plans changes to the way in which it assesses councils on the quality of ...
The Commission for Social Care Inspection plans changes to the way in which it assesses councils on the quality of social care services for adults.

A consultation on the proposals is launched tomorrow.

The consultation document, A New Outcomes Framework for Performance Assessment of Adult Social Care, can be viewed here. There is also a response form.

The primary aim is to tailor services to meet people's needs, rather than fit people into the system. This is a key objective of the government's recent white paper on health and social care, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say.

CSCI's new performance assessment framework for 2006-07 is to be constructed around the seven outcomes that the white paper seeks for people who use services, plus two additional measures: on leadership and the commissioning and use of resources.

This will build towards a new social care and health performance assessment framework, as envisaged in the white paper. The expected white paper on local government will also influence the further development of this work.

For 2006-07, CSCI proposes to retain its system of awarding each council a star rating. However, it plans to move from the current four categories (from zero to three stars) to five (zero to four stars).

This will enable the commission to be more specific in its judgements about services and make it easier to acknowledge improvements made by individual councils.

The commission also believes the new framework will help to reduce the amount of time that councils spend on collating data on social care services.

CSCI chief inspector David Behan said: 'People tell us that they want high-quality support which meets their needs and aspirations for more independence and ever-greater control over their own lives.

'Councils need to demonstrate that they are improving outcomes for individuals and local communities.

'We need to put an even sharper focus on independence, choice, control and outcomes than we do already, and that is why we are reshaping our performance assessment framework.'


1. The white paper, Our Health. Our Care, Our Say, sets out seven outcomes for people who use social care and health services -

Improved health: Enjoying good physical and mental health (including protection from abuse and exploitation). Access to appropriate treatment and support in managing long-term conditions independently. Opportunities for physical activity.

Improved quality of life: Access to leisure, social activities and life-long learning and to universal, public and commercial services. Security at home, access to transport and confidence in safety outside the home.

Making a positive contribution: Maintaining involvement in local activities and being involved in policy development and decision-making.

Exercise of choice and control: Through maximum independence and access to information. Being able to choose and control services and being helped to manage risk in personal life.

Freedom from discrimination or harassment: Equality of access to services for all who need them.

Economic well-being: Access to income and resources sufficient for a good diet. Accommodation and participation in family and community life. Ability to meet costs arising from specific individual needs.

Personal dignity and respect: Not being subject to abuse. Keeping clean and comfortable. Enjoying a clean and orderly environment. Availability of appropriate personal care.

The two additional measures in CSCI's performance assessment framework are:

Leadership: Councils with adult social services responsibilities will provide a key professional role for staff working in adult social care services. They will also have a key role in ensuring accountability of services to local communities through consultation with local people and, in particular, people who use services.

Commissioning and use of resources: Adult social care leaders will commission and deliver services to clear standards of both quality and cost, by the most effective, economic and efficient means available, and so demonstrate value for money.

2. The CSCI is the single inspectorate for social care in England, responsible for regulating and inspecting all social care providers - whether in the public or independent sector.

3. The commission's primary aim is to improve social care by putting the needs of people who use care services first.

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