National Assembly for Wales / Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

Health and Social Care Committee/ Y Pwyllgor Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol


Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill / Bil Rheoleiddio ac

Arolygu Gofal Cymdeithasol (Cymru)

Evidence from Age Alliance Wales – RISC AI 05 / Tystiolaeth gan Cynghrair

Henoed Cymru – RISC AI 05


Note for Health and Social Care Committee

Age Alliance Wales’ views on ensuring the cost effectiveness of lay inspectors




Age Alliance Wales believes that lay inspectors have an important role in ensuring inspections of care homes fully consider all aspects of an individual’s daily life and care. Lay inspectors bring different experiences and can offer a different perspective upon the quality of life and the quality of care that is being provided. Managed well, lay inspectors can also enable a more effective, legitimate and transparent

 inspection regime.


We are concerned by CSSIW’s claim that lay inspectors are not cost effective. If co production is to be enacted, investment has to be made to support the engagement of all stake holders. If lay inspectors are to be engaged, AAW believes it should be on the basis of evidence based good practice and not solely on cost.  Lay inspection is not cost neutral. There will always be a cost to recruiting, training and maintaining lay inspectors engaged and up to date with knowledge and skill.


Lay inspector projects do not come for free and agencies have to invest in the staff culture and new/different inclusive processes, otherwise initiatives can fail and become discredited for the wrong reasons.


The All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers (AWF) did a partnership pilot with CSSiW two years ago to explore the potential of using family carers and individuals with learning disabilities as 'independent visitors' to support the inspection process. Age Cymru was also involved in this project. The aim was to consider the areas of quality of life and control. The project was a success as it wasn't overly structured and aimed to compliment the services of the main inspectorate body.

Learning from this project shows that lay inspector initiatives are more likely to succeed if organisations move towards a partnership approach that engages citizens at a voluntary level (plus travel expenses etc), rather than pushing for full reinstatement of lay inspectors with the full costs attached. (For more information, contact Kate Young, Director of All Wales Forum for parents and carers;


The AWF is currently in discussions with CSSiW and HiW to enable real engagement of families in the recently commissioned review of all learning disability registered services – they are hoping this can resurrect the positives from the joint pilot project and also help pave a way for ongoing joint working.


AAW would like to draw the attention of the Committee to organisations who currently use lay inspectors and greatly value their contribution:


Care Quality Commission – Experts by Experience


Estyn – Lay Inspectors


 Age UK – Experts by Experience


Older People’s Commissioner – Social Care Rapporteurs


Health Inspectorate Wales


Dimensions Cymru