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Care Homes: Standards

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidelines his Department has issued to local authorities on incentives to care homes to achieve three stars under the Commission for Social Care Inspection's rating scheme; (252701)

(2) how many local authorities provide special payments to care homes which achieve three stars under the Commission for Social Care Inspection's rating scheme.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) introduced its star rating system in May 2008 to enable commissioners and users of services and the public to see whether CSCI judges a care service to be excellent, good, adequate or poor. Star ratings are based on the results of CSCI inspections of services against the relevant regulations and national minimum standards.

The Department has not issued guidance to local authorities on incentives to care homes to achieve higher quality ratings. However, we expect local authorities to commission high quality services and would, therefore, anticipate that care homes which are rated as good or excellent will be more likely to attract local authorities’ business.

Fees paid by local authorities for care are for local negotiation. Information on whether councils make special payments to care homes which are awarded three stars by CSCI is not collected centrally.