Decision details


Decision Maker: Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Following the Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee on 29 November 2022, a draft Quality and Suspension Policy has been prepared for Commissioning, Contracts and Quality Monitoring of Providers for agreement by Committee. The Policy identifies how Wirral Council will ensure its compliance with its duty under the Care Act 2014 to commission care services of a good quality.


In that, those services which do not have a good quality rating from either the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or from the Councils Independent Quality Assessment - Provider Assessment and Market Management Solutions (PAMMS), will be suspended and have restrictions on new referrals for placements from Wirral Council, until such time that they have a good quality rating or show an improving direction towards a good rating.


As there are often capacity issues in the market, especially in the right place to meet carer needs, Providers that Require Improvement (RI) Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated services may need to be commissioned to allow for people to receive the type of care that they require. However, this will be ordered on a case-by-case basis, and with close contractual and social care monitoring of the new placement.


In addition, the Policy identifies that Wirral Council will publish the details of any provider that is suspended to new placements. This is seen as an important factor in providing quality information to people and their families before making a decision regarding placing their relative in a home.


Resolved – That the principles set out in the Draft Quality and Suspension Policy (Appendix 1) covering Commissioning, Contracting and Quality Monitoring of Providers be agreed, the suspension of those Providers/Services without a good quality rating be supported, and the Director of Care and Health be authorised to agree the final version of the Policy.

Reasons for the decision:

Quality improvement is fundamental to providing good care to people that meets the mum test. Wirral continues to be challenged with a large number of homes rated as Requires Improvement.


This needs to improve therefore improvement within the care home market remains a priority for Wirral Council. Poor-quality services are not acceptable to the people of Wirral and as the commissioning authority, Wirral Council is in a position where actions must be taken to drive improvement and to inform the public of actions being taken.


The policy has been developed in order to give clarity and transparency regarding the expectations of quality standards within Provision across Wirral it should support a more equitable approach where good quality standards are recognised, and additionally set out the consequences clearly where providers have not met the regulatory or quality standard set out in the policy.

Alternative options considered:

Not to have revised the Policy would have meant a lack of transparency from the Council to inform the people of Wirral of the quality standards of Providers they commission.


Not to have revised the Policy on steps to support the improvement of quality within the providers the Council commissions, would not drive-up quality standards across the care market.

Report author: Nicola Peel

Publication date: 06/03/2023

Date of decision: 06/03/2023

Decided at meeting: 06/03/2023 - Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee

Effective from: 11/03/2023

Accompanying Documents: