CQC walks quietly away from care home star ratings
From the end of June, the Care Quality Commission stopped awarding star ratings to Care Homes. Although they have begun work on a new quality system, this will not be in place until May of next year.
Scrapping the star ratings without replacing it with something else was a strange and unfortunate decision. It is very bad for people looking for care homes, bad for local authorities which commission care homes. It is even bad for good and excellent care homes which don’t get the kudos and recognition for their efforts. Only houses with one or zero stars will be cheering.
The CQC is leaving the most recent star ratings on their website, but from tomorrow (1st Oct 2010) users will no longer be able to search using star ratings as one of the criteria. To make this even more confusing, not all care homes were awarded star ratings, roughly 800 houses do not have a rating, though some of these will be because they opened recently.
At BestCareHome.co.uk we have spent a great deal of time looking at inspection reports, listening to views about star ratings and thinking through the impact of this system.
It is quite clear that the inspection system is not perfect and it is understandable that care home owners who feel they have an unjustly low rating are angry. Their livelihood depends on it. But if the system works most of the time, if houses rated excellent are ‘most often’ much better than houses rated poor then we owe it to the residents to hang on to this until something better comes along. Their lives may depend on it.
So at BestCareHome.co.uk we want to keep the star rating system working for a while yet. We are in a good position to do this as we have the ability to extract raw data out of inspection reports and use an algorithm almost the same as the regulator to award star ratings.
- We will continue to allow searches based on star ratings.
- Over the next few days we will seek to award star ratings to hundreds of houses that the regulator never ‘got round’ to rating.
- As long as new inspection reports contain enough data (such as judgments on outcome domains) we will update ratings for houses through the year.
If you agree this is important please tell people about this article, mention it on your blog, ‘friend’ us on Facebook and whatever else you can think of to keep star ratings relevant.