Stronger inspections needed to protect vulnerable care users, says Emma

March 12, 2014

131206 - ELB Autumn Statement smallEmma Lewell-Buck warned that the Government’s plans for inspections of adult social care could lead to cases of neglect being missed, as she spoke in favour of Labour amendments to the Care Bill on Monday.

Emma spoke in favour of a Labour amendment, which she had introduced as a member of the Committee discussing the Bill, which would require the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to inspect the way Local Authorities commission services.

At the moment, the Bill allows the CQC to only look at local authorities’ commissioning practices in special circumstances rather than routinely. Emma told the House she was concerned this could allow poor care to go unchecked.

Emma told the House:

I am concerned that, under the model the Minister advocated in Committee, action will be taken only once patterns of poor care have already taken root in a local authority. Surely that is the wrong way round. We need to prevent poor care arising from substandard commissioning, rather than wait for problems to become embedded in the system. This not only makes sense financially but from a safeguarding perspective, it is essential.”

Emma also tabled amendments calling for stricter timetables for local authorities to complete care assessments and reviews.

Figures show that the number of people waiting more than four weeks for an assessment has risen in the wake of funding cuts since 2010, while many people have not seen their care plan reviewed for more than three years.

Emma warned that without a timetable, some service users could be stuck without proper support for their condition.

Emma said:

Under-resourced departments must set priorities, and routine steps such as the reviewing of someone’s care plan are often at the bottom of the list because there is no pressure for them to be taken in a timely way. However, those steps are very important, because they identify changes in a person’s condition which, if ignored, might lead them to a crisis point.”

You can read the full debate on the Care Bill by clicking here.

Latest News