Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, recently spoke at the official launch event of the Demos Commission on Residential Care held in Westminster.
The think-tank’s year-long review of residential care was chaired by Paul Burstow MP and brought together academics, industry experts and providers. It explored the future of the ‘housing with care’ sector, covering everything from care homes, villages and supported living for older and disabled people.
Reforms for the care sector
The findings of a final report proposes a number of wide-ranging reforms for the care sector including:
- the separation of care, accommodation and services.
- more co-location.
- encouraging innovation.
- strengthening the workforce.
Responding to the Demos Commission on Residential Care, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said: “I welcome the Commission’s report which shines a spotlight on the often neglected world of residential care. It’s great to see a report which emphasises the positive impact residential care can have on people’s lives and it provides a helpful focus on how all of us can influence the improvement of care and services for older people and people with disabilities so that they can be the best they can be.
“A lot of us may need to be cared for one day, and as the regulator of adult social care, I’m determined that services are good enough for me, my mum or anyone else’s loved one. Vitally, we need to make sure they are delivered in a way that is safe, caring, effective and responsive to people’s needs.
“At the Care Quality Commission we are improving the way we monitor, inspect and rate adult social care services by being explicit about the standards we expect to see, providing clear assessments of services so that people can make informed and confident choices and taking action to help services improve.
“The report makes a number of interesting proposals that could affect our role. I welcome the debate but I am concerned at the suggestion of separating the regulation of care (the ‘what’) from the setting (the ‘where’) as we know how important the environment is for high quality care. I also worry that this separation could be even more confusing and unhelpful for people needing to make important decisions about their lives.
“I would prefer that we make life as easy as possible for people using services, along with their carers and families, by giving them reliable information about a particular service and setting. The challenge really should be for the Department of Health and Care Quality Commission to build on our improved model of regulation and inspection so that it is sufficiently flexible to cope with the range of services that the report rightly identifies are necessary to respond to people’s different needs.
“In this way, we can be true to our purpose of being on the side of people using services and meet their needs for clear information.”