Commission Changes Assessment of Councils’ Performance

The Commission for Social Care Inspection plans changes to the way in which it assesses councils on the quality of social care services for adults.The primary aim is to tailor services to meet people’s needs, rather than fit people into the system. This is a key objective of the Government’s recent White Paper on health and social care, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say.

CSCI’s new performance assessment framework for 2006-07 is to be constructed around the seven outcomes that the White Paper seeks for people who use services, plus two additional measures: on leadership and the commissioning and use of resources.

This will build towards a new social care and health performance assessment framework, as envisaged in the White Paper. The expected White Paper on local government will also influence the further development of this work.

For 2006-07, CSCI proposes to retain its system of awarding each council a star rating. However, it plans to move from the current four categories (from zero to three stars) to five (zero to four stars).

This will enable the Commission to be more specific in its judgements about services and make it easier to acknowledge improvements made by individual councils.

The Commission also believes the new framework will help to reduce the amount of time that councils spend on collating data on social care services.

CSCI Chief Inspector David Behan said: “People tell us that they want high-quality support which meets their needs and aspirations for more independence and ever-greater control over their own lives.

“Councils need to demonstrate that they are improving outcomes for individuals and local communities.

“We need to put an even sharper focus on independence, choice, control and outcomes than we do already, and that is why we are reshaping our performance assessment framework.”

The consultation document, A New Outcomes Framework for Performance Assessment of Adult Social Care, can be viewed on the Commission’s website at There is also a response form.