The launch of star ratings for care homes and care agencies will give power to the customer and bring pressure to improve standards. The ratings will be based on reports from the Commission for Social Care Inspection.
A move to a care home often happens during times of great stress or illness. Prior to the ratings scheme people were left with little more than a list of names of homes when having to make such a choice. The result was little competition between homes and very weak market forces having a limited effect on standards. That will change now because people will be able to tell the differences in quality between services when looking to purchase their own care.
That rating system will become an important factor for local councils, because they will be expected to check providers’ quality ratings before purchasing care on behalf of the people they serve.
The new ratings are expected to give the clear information about the quality of care as judged by the Commission’s inspectors. A three star rating means ‘excellent’, two stars ‘good’, one star ‘adequate’ and zero stars ‘poor’.
The ratings are available on the Commission’s website and they reveal a marked lack of 3 star care homes and agencies. A possible reason for this is that many of the homes have not yet been rated.