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Commission for Social Care Inspection

Volume 685: debated on Monday 9 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the cost of the Commission for Social Care Inspection in 2005–06; and what is its budgeted cost for the current financial year; and [HL7139]

How many staff were employed by the Commission for Social Care Inspection in 2005–06; how many staff are currently in post; and how many of these are paid more than £35,000 per annum including national insurance and pension contributions; and [HL7140]

How many posts were saved in local government as a result of the new arrangements which gave the Commission for Social Care Inspection responsibility for care home inspection; and [HL7142]

Whether any independent evaluation has been commissioned to assess whether care standards have improved since the introduction of the Commission for Social Care Inspection; and, if so, whether any preliminary results are available.[HL7143]

We understand from the chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) that the revenue expenditure of the CSCI in 2005-06, excluding depreciation, was £141.153 million and the capital expenditure £7.1 million.

The budgeted revenue expenditure for the current financial year 2006-07, excluding depreciation, is £142.146 million. The capital expenditure is budgeted at £19.978 million; £12 million to fund CSCI’s information and communication technology strategy, which will help CSCI to deliver its modernisation programme to reduce its long-term costs and £8 million to reduce CSCI’s office portfolio.

There was an average number of 2,479 staff employed by CSCI in 2005-06. CSCI estimates that in the financial year 2006-07 there will be 1,600 staff who will each cost it in excess of £35,000 to employ, including national insurance and pension contributions and any pay awards up until 31 March 2007.

The number of staff transferred into CSCI in April 2004 was 2,763. CSCI was created through the Health and Social Care Act 2003, bringing together the work of the Social Service Inspectorate (SSI), the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) and the joint review function of the Social Services Inspectorate and the Audit Commission. The establishment of CSCI created savings of £10 million compared to the cost of its predecessors. The numbers of staff transferring from each organisation are shown in the table.

Audit Commission








CSCI inspects care services at statutory intervals, to assess their quality against national minimum standards. As CSCI reported in The State of Social Care in England 2004-05, the data suggest that the quality of these services has been improving, both in terms of average performance and in the number of services meeting almost all of the national minimum standards. The pattern of improvement has continued in 2005-06. Details will be set out in CSCI's next State of Social Care report, due to be published later in the year.

CSCI has not commissioned an independent evaluation to assess whether care standards have improved since its introduction in April 2004.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proportion of the Commission for Social Care Inspection costs were charged back to care providers in 2005–06; what is the budgeted proportion that will be charged back in 2006–07 and 2007–08; and what provision they have made for helping care providers to find the funds to meet these costs.[HL7141]

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) is funded by a combination of Government funding via grant-in-aid and regulatory fees from providers at levels set by Government. Fees for CSCI's work are set in March of each year, following a process of consultation.

CSCI is the independent inspectorate for all social care services in England. It is accountable to the Secretary of State for Health and is also required by law to report to Parliament annually. It registers, inspects and regulates social care providers in the private, local authority and voluntary sectors, all of which are required to pay fees for the services it provides. The fees reflect the work involved in registering and inspecting care establishments and contribute to providing for a safe and realistic level of inspection activity.

It is the Government's policy to move to a position where the recurrent costs of providing regulation are fully recovered from service providers. The annual fee increases are part of this process. The Government believe it is right in principle for commissioners of services, providers and service users to meet the cost of regulation, because all benefit from regulation and the assurance that the regulatory system provides about the quality of services and the protection of vulnerable people. Providers of care can, of course, take CSCI's fees into account when negotiating with those who commission its services.

The information requested on the proportions of CSCI's income which were charged back to care providers is shown in the table. For 2006-07, fees cover about 50 per cent of the overall cost of CSCI's regulatory activity, which represents about 80 per cent of its work.


Grant-in-aid from the

department to CSCI

CSCI income from fees








1 Estimated figure

Information on CSCI's fees for 2007-08 is not available, as the consultation process is yet to be conducted.