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News - 16 October 2013

Revamped inspection regime for care homes.

New adult social care chief inspector Andrea Sutcliffe said she wanted to explore the use of hidden cameras and mystery-shopper exercises in uncovering abuse and neglect in care homes and domiciliary care in England next year.

However, she admitted their use would have to be balanced against the need for privacy and dignity in such settings.

From next autumn, services will be given an Ofsted-style rating of outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate to mirror the system being rolled out for hospitals.

The new Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections will determine whether services are:

  • safe
  • caring
  • effective
  • well led
  • responsive to people's needs

This replaces the current system, which relies on 16 core standards with which services are either compliant or non-compliant.

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“The make-up of the inspection teams are also being changed to ensure they include experts in the care sector - to date the CQC has relied on general inspectors. The inspections will start in autumn 2014 with the aim that each of the 25,000 care homes, nursing homes and domiciliary care agencies will be inspected by March 2016.”

Ms Sutcliffe - who is one of three new CQC chief inspectors following the appointments of similar posts covering GPs and hospitals, said she would be discussing the option of using hidden cameras and mystery shoppers - where people posed as individuals looking for care for a loved one - in the coming months, with providers, councils and the public.

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said there were "serious flaws" in the current system that needed addressing.

But Steve Sollars, the parent of a former resident at Winterbourne View, said he was worried the move was too little, too late. "Winterbourne View happened two-and-a-half to three years ago. Things should be happening now."

If you need any help and advice on Care Homes and Nursing Homes, contact Peter Ham, Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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