Quality – whose responsibility?
Will the star rating system proposed for care homes â€“ and soon domiciliary care agencies as well â€“ lead to higher quality? The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), which will award the scores, definitely thinks it will. â€œNew quality mark will help millions choose better careâ€, its press release launching the consultation confidently claimed; better information equals wider choice equals higher standards. Some providers seem to be less sure. Sheila Scott of the National Care Association (NCA) warned that â€œan inaccurate or unfair star rating for a smaller care providerâ€ â€“ an outcome NCA obviously regards as distinctly possible â€“ â€œcould have a very damaging effect, in some cases forcing care homes to closeâ€. For the English Community Care Association (ECCA), Martin Green commented sceptically that the system â€œrequires a great deal of input before it will deliver a useful and appropriate measure of qualityâ€. Only the National Care Forum (NCF), representing not-for-profit organisat