The new NCSC: what role for relatives and residents?
By Tom Burgner The National Care Standards Commission came into legal existence on 9th April, although it will not be responsible for regulation of social services until 1st April 2002. For the next few months it will have more than enough to do in organising and bringing together the work which is currently fragmented among 150 local authorities and about 100 health authorities. There are offices to be found and equipped (an HQ, 8 regional centres and 72 area offices with a single integrated IT system); 2500 staff on different salaries and conditions to be transferred and some new posts to be filled; and a major training effort to ensure that so far as possible everyone is working in the same way, to best current practice from the outset. So there are big changes afoot, even if realistically not everything will happen by day one. What benefits can older people in residential care and nursing homes hope to see? Let me say something about each of the NCSCÂ¹s main functions. Firstly, it will be responsible in