The Commission for Social Care Inspection says people who use social care services are now significantly more involved in the design and delivery inspection. In its third annual report CSCI details how it has recruited service users it calls Experts By Experience to participate in inspections.
It is continuing to strengthen its new approach to transforming inspections of regulated services – Inspecting for Better Lives – which emphasises listening to people who use services, and it is putting in place methods to assess councils’ performance, which put more stress on the quality of the services they commission.
The report shows that performance ratings for all 150 English councils showed steady improvement. CSCI completed 120 inspections of local social services departments and its inspectors imposed more than 2,700 requirements on providers to improve services. They also responded to more than 5,000 letters and e-mails that raised over 13,700 concerns, complaints or allegations about poor care. The Commission reports a big increase in interest in its individual reports on services with about 1.5 million reports being downloaded from its website last year.
Dame Denise Platt, who chairs the Commission, said throughout the year it had maintained the focus on improving outcomes for people who used social care. “But we are also responding to the need for good information on social care. Interest in our information is going up, and we are advocating good information across social care to help people who are using and choosing services,” she added.
The CSCI Chief Inspector, Paul Snell said it had used its uniquely broad perspective of social care to bring together a picture of the whole of the field, whether it was commissioned or purchased by councils, or by individuals and regardless of whether the provider was from the public, private or voluntary sector.
The report covers the final year in which CSCI inspected children’s services. This work has now been handed over to the new Ofsted.