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“Minimum standards are not enough” – our annual report 2013-14

We have published our annual report 2013-14 today.

Chief Inspector's annual report 2013-14

While we have found that most care is good in Wales, minimum standards are not enough and our focus must be on supporting all sectors to achieve excellence.

says Imelda Richardson, Chief Inspector of Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).

Launching the annual report for 2013-14 at ‘My Home Life Cymru Conference’ today, she said that supporting the sector and working together is crucial to improving care.

The Chief Inspector said:

We want to increase the transparency of the quality of services to make sure people have clearer information to make informed decisions when choosing care and want to introduce judgments within our inspections. Our aim is to pilot Quality Judgements across the services we inspect and regulate.

Working with our stakeholders to develop and pilot a Quality Judgement Framework will be vital to ensuring that the quality of services continues to improve and that people and commissioners have a clear understanding of the quality of services that are provided in Wales. A Quality Judgement Framework will focus on the outcomes for people against our four quality themes: the Quality of Life, the Quality of the Environment, the Quality of Leadership and Management and the Quality of staff.

We have become increasingly clear and robust about graded enforcement action and despite the limitations of the existing law; we have been creative in modernising our system and practice over the last five years to reflect changing patterns of care. We ensure people, their experience and quality of life is the central focus of all our work and values.

We are an inspectorate that is as focused on improvement as enforcement and I am pleased to report that during 2013 – 2014, 68% of the 343 services our inspections identified as in need of improvement took decisive action to make sustained improvements in the quality of their service. By the end of 2013-14 only 26 services remained as ‘Services of Concern’.

The decision to take enforcement action, which can ultimately lead to cancelling the registration of the manager or the service, is always carefully considered. However, we will take decisive action where services fail to improve and continue to present risks to those being cared for.

Our inspectors had a strong presence across Wales and carried out over 4,500 inspections in 2013-14. They talk to people using the services, their relatives and staff when they are inspecting and focus on the outcomes for people against four quality themes: the Quality of Life, the Quality of the Environment, the Quality of Leadership and Management and the Quality of staff.

We place the children and adults who need and use services at the heart of our work by listening to their views during inspections and responded to 2,170 concerns raised by residents, relatives, staff and professionals.  This resulted in 284 additional inspections. We encourage and thank people for bringing concerns to our attention and are committed to involving people in every aspect of our work and to improve our connection with local services and communities.

The Social Services and Well Being (Wales) Act 2014 and the Registration and Inspection of Social care (Wales) Bill will transform the delivery of social care services in Wales. A number of reviews and reforms in childcare and early years will also transform service patterns and delivery of childcare. Over this significant period of change our priority is to remain focused upon ensuring that the safety and quality of care, in particular to those who are vulnerable, remains a priority.


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