You may be aware that the Care Inspectorate are rolling out new inspections across all care sectors. In this blog we look at the process underway to develop a new framework for care homes for children and young people and residential schools.

New Health and Social Care Standards were introduced in April 2018 and have since been referred to in all of The Care Inspectorate’s work. In June 2018 they confirmed that new inspection frameworks and models would be developed to reflect these new standards.

This process began with care homes for older people. In developing a new framework the Care Inspectorate consulted providers and service users, aiming not to replicate the new Health and Social Care Standards but to bring them to life. A draft framework was developed and was tested in 60 services as part of the normal inspection process and including both good and poor performing services.

This process led to a new framework for care homes for older people that was put in place in August 2018 and is designed to be used in ‘self-evaluation, inspection, and improvement support’. The framework is based on the ‘EFQM Excellence Model’ (the European Foundation for Quality Management), an approach that will be taken for all sectors.

The framework is structured around five key questions:

  1. How well do we support children and young people’s wellbeing?
  2. How good is our leadership?
  3. How good is our staff team?
  4. How good is our setting?
  5. How well is our care and support planned?

A sixth question, ‘what is our overall capacity for improvement?’ has also been included but is not being used in inspections at this time. All questions will be graded using a six-point scale – from unsatisfactory to excellent.

For each of these, there are three or four Quality Indicators, each with illustrations of what a ‘very good’ or ‘weak’ service looks like. Finally, for each indicator a scrutiny and improvement toolbox is provided that links to practice documents to support improvement.

This structure will be replicated in the new framework for care homes for children currently being developed. A process of consultation is now underway, with an online survey for service providers launching soon. Staf also facilitated a roundtable with The Care Inspectorate exclusively for our members.

Representatives from 25 Staf members attended our roundtable in Stirling with Maureen Gunn, Service Manager at The Care Inspectorate. Maureen set out the process undertaken for care homes for older people and explained the process being undertaken to develop, consult and implement the framework for children’s homes. Attendees were also give the opportunity to review and discuss the draft framework.

Some of those who attended raised a particular issue around services that support young people aged 16 to 26 and are inspected as adult services rather than children’s services. Maureen Gunn said that the new framework would not resolve this but she recognised the issue, which The Care Inspectorate would like to see resolved. However, any amendment to the inspection categories would require the government to change primary legislation. Staf will investigate this issue further with our partners and will work to support its resolution.

We will ensure Staf members are kept up to date with the latest news on the process and will seek to influence it – and ensure the voice of Staf members is heard – wherever possible. If you have any further questions or want to find out how you can feed in your views get in touch at [email protected].

Download a copy of the draft quality framework for care homes for children and young people and school care accommodation (special residential schools) here:

You can complete The Care Inspectorate survey here: