Home Care Inspections

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2003 Retired Members' Conference
26 June 2003
Carried as Amended

The National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) is a new, independent public body set up under the Care Standards Act 2000, to regulate social care and private and voluntary health care services. From 1 April 2002 the NCSC took responsibility for the registration and inspection of services including care homes, replacing the previous system of inspection by local authority and health authority inspection units.

Conference notes that the NCSC will apply national minimum standards with the aim of:

1)improving the quality of care services and improving the protection of vulnerable people using these services;

2)ensuring that users and their families know exactly what they can expect from social care and independent health care services;

3)providing safeguards and assurances for service users;

4)providing greater clarity and consistency for providers as to what standards they will be required to meet.

However Conference is concerned that the NCSC Business Plan 2002-2003 states that its strategy is to give priority to announced rather than unannounced inspections.

Conference recognises the valuable contribution that the lay inspectors make to the process of inspections and recommends their continued involvement, especially as information can be passed to lay inspectors during such visits by residents both young and old. Unannounced inspections support this process and the role of the inspector.

Therefore Conference asks that the National Executive Council through appropriate channels highlight the importance of unannounced visits to ensure that national minimum standards are maintained in care homes, particularly in the private sector.