Cost of demonstrating compliance is unsustainable

Posted on February 27th, by geoff in Caring Times head, Caring Times letters. No Comments

Caring Times, March 2014

I have just read Is a “compliant” home necessarily a good home? (CT, Feb. 2014) and want to say thank you. It has answered the question we have long asked: “Is it just us?”. I manage at a residential care provision in the North West, and your article echoes our thoughts exactly, especially the part on ‘compliance’ being necessary in prison, but stifling thought in care homes, and having to conform against your better judgement.

Our local authority, in the last year, rolled out their version of provider compliance assessments, in which they ‘assess’ (they think we don’t know that they actually mean inspect) against every subsection of all 28 outcomes at once – every year.

The cost in man hours, not only to providers but also to the local authority, is in our opinion, unsustainable, and this is from a local authority which has a shortage of front line social workers, many of whom are off sick with stress! In addition, other local authorities we contract with are also rolling out their own versions.

What we find concerning are the inconsistencies and the differing opinions from assessors working from the same regulations. This detracts from the care. We have long said that tip-top paperwork does not make a great home, but that the people working and living in it do. But care providers are spending most of their working time preparing for inspections, being inspected or working on outcomes from inspections. Your article relieves the stress of all this nonsense by making it clear – it’s not just us.

– Anon. North West

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