Review findings now published
Coordinating regulators activities in the adult social care sector: to tackle poor provision and to boost the time good providers can give over to caring for residents.
The review took evidence from those working in the sector about their experiences of regulation and how it is enforced. It found that while relationships between regulators and providers were generally positive and professional, with examples given of good practice, there was an overwhelming concern about the duplication of inspections and information requests and a widely expressed concern that this was taking providers away from the delivery of front line care.
Respondents clearly saw the need for a robust regulatory system to underpin high quality provision and to ensure the safety of residents. However, there was a clear sense that things could work better; and a strong appetite to work together to improve the way in which regulation and contract management is implemented. The response to the review recognises this desire and seeks to build on it – to develop a more coordinated, targeted and proportionate approach.
The Department of Health (DH) will lead a programme of reform that will include:
• Issuing a short, clear statement of which public bodies do what in their interactions with care homes – addressing concerns that the role of different public agencies is unclear to many providers and appears to them to involve a significant amount of overlap.
• Improving and streamlining information requests placed on providers – addressing concerns that there is duplication and overlap in contract monitoring, inspection and data requirements.
• Looking at ways to standardise local authorities’ interactions with providers, including through the Primary Authority scheme – addressing concerns about inconsistency of approach, a lack of clarity about requirements and similar data being collected in multiple formats.
• Collating and disseminating examples of good practice through a single programme of work – addressing an observation that a number of different agencies are exploring improved approaches but not always in a coordinated way.
• Agreeing the priorities for the work programme and an approach to joint working on solutions with the sector – through a meeting with a selection of providers and provider representatives shortly after publication.
• Reporting back to Ministers on the initial progress within six months of publication – to assess how well the issues are being addressed, and what more may need to be done.
This work will be led by DH in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and key public bodies in the sector such as the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).