Journal Article

A Hindrance or a Help? The Contribution of Inspection to the Quality of Care in Homes for Older People

Sheila Furness

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 3, pages 488-505
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
A Hindrance or a Help? The Contribution of Inspection to the Quality of Care in Homes for Older People

Show Summary Details



There has been no real attempt to explore the contribution and effectiveness of inspection as a catalyst for change and improving service provision. In England the Government is currently reviewing the way that one regulatory body, the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), operates and carries out its inspection functions in relation to care homes for older people. This article reports on a study carried out in 2004 that asked managers of care homes for older people about their views and experiences of inspection and ways to improve the process. The findings endorse inspection as a necessary intervention. Managers identified that the main purposes of inspection were: to ensure the well-being of residents; to achieve or comply with standards; to check that the home was running properly and to act as a double check against the homes own audits. The two most useful aspects of inspection were as a means of providing feedback and as support and guidance to managers. The expertise of the inspector needs to be better deployed to drive up standards of care and maximise their influence to promote an improvement in services and innovation in practice.

Keywords: inspection services; management and organisational development; residential and respite care; social care services

Journal Article.  7091 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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