Proposed new care rating system will create 'clear challenges'

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: Tuesday 28th November 2012
Embargo: 00.01 hrs, Wednesday 28th November 2012

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunts proposals, due to be announced today, have been broadly welcomed by directors of adult social services - but with the welcome comes a clear warning that providing a ratings system for care homes will not be easy. According to ADASS President Sarah Pickup, Different people have very different priorities and expectations when it comes to assessing how well a care home or domiciliary care agency is performing.

ADASS members will hope that dignity and compassion will be as much a part of any assessment as the accuracy of records and the timeliness and practical and professional skills with which particular interventions are delivered.

She also insisted that any new duties and responsibilities laid on existing regulators should be fully and transparently funded. Too often, in the past, additional burdens have been loaded onto the shoulders of statutory bodies including sometimes local authorities - without any care being taken to ensure that they have the capacity to fulfil them.

In this respect she said she hoped that any proposals that are developed will draw on information that is already available, as well as the views of people who use services, and the knowledge of a range of agencies, including local authorities. This will help avoid significant additional burdens and diversions of resources from actual service improvement to performance management or servicing inspections.

Welcoming the initiative in the round, she said: any attempts to promote improvements in the quality of care and making better information available to the public must be seen as good things. There are clearly challenges associated with rating care services for people, but ADASS stands ready to contribute to the review and to play its part in any system that emerges in the future.

ENDS

For further information contact:
Sarah Pickup, ADASS President, 01992 556300
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

Editorial Notes

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors of adult social services in local authorities in England. DASSs have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people and adults with disabilities, while over 50 per cent also run social housing departments. ADASS members might also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, library, culture and arts services within their councils.

The Department of Health survey of adult social care 2010/2011 showed that:

* 62% of service users who responded said that they were extremely or very satisfied with the care and support services they receive.

*28% said they were quite satisfied, 7% said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and the remaining 3% said they were dissatisfied.

*26% reported their quality of life was so good, it could not be better or very good.

* 31% reported it was good, and

*33% reported it was alright.

* 10% reported their quality of life was either bad, very bad or so bad it could not be worse

See full results here.