Government scraps adult social services performance assessment

Author: Jim Dunton, Local Government Chronicle   |  

Councils’ annual performance assessments (APAs) that rate adult social care are to be scrapped after this year’s ratings are announced later this month.

Care services minister Paul Burstow told the National Children and Adult Services conference in Manchester the decision had been taken following input from the sector.

?You told us that the CQC’s annual assessment of commissioning isn’t the best way to tackle it, and we won’t be taking forward the assessments next year,? he said.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) chief executive Cynthia Bower said the move would allow for the responsibility for performance to be devolved closer to local people.

?The annual performance assessment played an important role in driving improvements in council commissioning of care. However, we recognise the need for change,? she said.

It was believed that details of how the CQC’s new role would emerge in the coming months following talks with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, the Local Government Association, and Local Government Improvement & Development.

CQC added that current performance scores for 2009-10 would be published later this month, but councils would not be required to collate or submit data against the Our Health, Our Care, Our Say outcomes framework for the 2010-11 assessment year.

David Parsons (Con), chairman of the Local Government Group’s Improvement Board, said: ?The scrapping of the annual assessment of adult care is a positive step towards the common-sense inspection approach which councils have been arguing for. The next logical step is to get rid of the equivalent assessments of children’s services carried out by Ofsted.

?Particularly at a time when public money is under massive pressure councils should not be forced to spend money ticking boxes when that funding could be spent instead on frontline services. Councils are ready to do the important job of monitoring their own and each others’ performance, making sure services get better all the time but without the top-heavy bureaucracy which wastes taxpayers’

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