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Homecarer November 2008

Inside: 2 A manifesto for homecare 3 Chairman’s letter 4 Recruitment focus on Europe 5 Care on the rural landscape 6 UKHCA’s IIP success 7 An inspector’s perspective

Costs and contract concerns as we care through the crunch

8-9 Personal budgets 10 Training news 11 Disclosure news 12-15 England 16 Northern Ireland 17 Wales 18-19 Scotland 20 Membership services 21 Members’ news 22-23 Events and publications 24 Q & A

The last few months have seen tumultuous changes to the global financial system, with the UK Government forced to bail out banks and intervene directly in maintaining the financial health of the country. Local authorities who have deposited their reserves with ailing Icelandic banks have forced Government and the local government representatives to give an assurance that front-line services are not at risk. We wait to see if some will use this as an excuse to decline contract price increases or meet cost pressures experiences by providers. Please tell us if it does -

email What started as a credit crunch has become, for some banks and businesses, a fight for financial survival. Indeed, surviving the credit crunch and its repercussions are likely to be a major pre-occupation of businesses in the coming year. The dust has yet to settle on the turmoil. Although social care providers have their own concerns like obtaining a fair price for care and equitable contracts from local authorities, they still need to look carefully at their business practice and company borrowings to make sure their organisations stay healthy and can pay their wages’

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Half-price offer – in-house trainers’ resources UKHCA launches Homecare Manifesto – Page 2

S av e m o n e y b y t r a i n i n g y o u r st a ff i n - h o us e . O u r i n- h o us e t r a i ne r s ’ g u i d es and resource packs are all half price if we receive your order by 31 December – see pages 22-23.

Members’ helpline: 020 8288 5291

Caring through the credit crunch Continued from Front Page bills. Nick Haines, Tax Partner of Hazlewoods LLP, commented: “Banks, as part of their loan review procedures, are increasingly requesting additional financial and management information such as monthly or quarterly management accounts, financial projections and details of Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) such as hours per week and wages costs. A lack of strong financial controls and a breach of financial covenants can result in increased borrowing costs, and in general banks are looking for excuses to change loans from base rate to LIBOR (the rate at which the banks lend to each other, and which has increased above base rate during the 'credit crunch'), which would make borrowing more expensive. Most importantly, keep an open dialogue with your bank manager and your advisors to ensure any potential issues are met head on." Experts are advising businesses to keep a strong cash flow throughout the current period of financial uncertainty. Tips for surviving the downturn include: ! Review your business costs and make sure you have adequate cash reserves; ! Check the terms of any loans and business investments and take advice where necessary; ! Use cash flow forecasts to plan for likely peaks and troughs in your business income and outgoings; ! Make sure you agree payment

terms in writing for all your contracts and consider shortening your standard payment terms of new contracts, where feasible, so you receive payment quicker; ! Check the credit rating of potential customers; ! Produce your invoices promptly; ! See that your credit control systems are efficient and be alert to changes in current customers’ practice; ! Consider giving greater priority to debt chasing and be aware that you may be able to charge interest on overdue commercial debts; ! Review your contracts with councils to make sure they are paying by the agreed timescales and challenge them if they are not and ! Check you have clearly communicated the actions you will take to cease supply to persistent late payers or customers who default. Remember, however, you must take user safety into account, allowing reasonable time for users and/or social services to make alternative arrangements. Factoring is not right for all organisations but it may be a solution if invoices are not getting paid. If you are planning a major capital purchase, for example a new computer system, check the health of your supplier in case it is at risk of insolvency. Quote from peter???? There is special redress to help those who are owed money by local authorities. The downturn is bound to affect

homecare providers in some way. From highly-geared commercial concerns to small and mediumsized enterprises, few will be entirely unaffected. Even the voluntary sector fears its donation base will reduce. But the credit crunch cloud may have a silver lining. Some commentators are predicting recent events may present an opportunity for social businesses, as financial and retail sector workers seek to utilise their skills in the safer haven of other sectors. “The demand for homecare will not disappear. Our sector will become more attractive to people who have suffered job insecurity. The available pool of job seekers is going to include people with some very transferable skills, including good interpersonal skills and coping with responsibility or complex administration”, said Colin Angel, UKHCA Head of Policy. “Make sure Jobcentre Plus know of your vacancies for careworkers and branch staff.”

Carole Broughton Homecarer Editor

Resources Business Link has launched a suite of resources to help businesses survive the credit crunch, including a tool to assess business health and advice on managing cash flow. For more, see: bdotg/action/detail?type=ONEOFFPAGE&itemId=1080678461& 957&r.l1=1075193191&r.pp=11&r.s=p Late payment of debts, see

Manifesto sets out the state of the nation’s homecare October saw the launch of our exciting new manifesto for homecare at the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services conference, our summary of the issues facing central government, local councils and providers today. Homecare is the essential component of 21st Century social care. Independent and voluntary sector providers already deliver 78% of state-funded homecare, making them critical delivery partners. Any social care strategy that does not have these providers at its heart will inevitably fail people who use social care services. The manifesto sets out the


Homecarer – November 2008

UKHCA’s programme of actions to support and develop the homecare sector. The ability of the sector to succeed is dependent not just on the capacity and capability of providers, but on the actions of both central and local government. It aims to ensure the sector’s ability to address the urgent demographic and workforce challenges the country faces, as well as giving service users genuine choice. We will be presenting the manifesto to delegates at our Winter Convention and developing and promoting it further over the coming months - look out for news in our email alerts and on our website. To read our manifesto for sustainable care at home, see: www.

Chairman’s letter

The economy falters – but the need for care remains

It feels like a very different world from the one we knew only a few months ago. The credit crunch has been eclipsed by fears of a global economic slump and the uncertainty is playing havoc with our business plans. It’s time for a calm approach to identify future risks and opportunities. The money world may have lost its head, but we need to show that in our sector it’s business as usual, providing care to some of the most needy people in society. That’s not to say we won’t need to make adjustments - our credit control must be exemplary. There will also be providers worried about councils caught by the collapse of Icelandic banks, as we wait to hear if this affects local services. Recent banking developments could throw up an opportunity for social care, if it is seized upon by the Government. Money for investment in social care, as in all other ventures, looks likely to be in short supply for some time. But as it takes a controlling interest in the British banks, it is surely a chance for the Government to influence how those banks lend to certain sectors. And as the Government is painfully aware of the need for investment in the future of social care, could this not be the chance it needs to persuade the banks to be more generous in their criteria for lending to the sector? That ever-growing demand for care will not be put on hold while the economy recovers. By encouraging the now part-public owned banks to look more favourably on

Phil Hope

Mike Padgham care investment, the Government would be continuing to tackle the issue of increasing demand for care and at the same time increasing investment and job opportunities within the sector, which the overall economy needs. The news on unemployment is bad and, as the economy struggles, likely to get worse. With, unfortunately, more people in the jobs market the situation may throw up an opportunity to attract some of them to consider retraining and entering the care sector. We are busy raising the profile of homecare, for those who would like to give something back to their communities. There are plenty of jobs available but the challenge will be to ensure there is the proper training and financial rewards for them. The recent Cabinet reshuffle brought a glimmer of optimism that social care is moving up the Government’s priority list. Ivan Lewis – who himself did much to raise the profile of social care – has moved to the Department for International Development. His successor, Phil Hope becomes minister for care - a higher ranking than Mr Lewis. Maybe, as the new minister’s surname suggests, there is hope after all. We have written to the new minister setting out the issues for homecare – and to his predecessor, with thanks for his contribution. In these chaotic times we need to be clear about our priorities. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services conference saw the launch of our Manifesto for Homecare ‘From Rhetoric to Reality’, which describes our wish list for central government, local

councils and for ourselves, the homecare providers. On a personal note I would like to thank and congratulate all those involved for preparing an excellent document. Getting ready for the change of regulator in England, our Chief Executive Lesley Rimmer and Head of Policy Colin Angel met Cynthia Bower, who heads up the Care Quality Commission. It was a constructive meeting. We are encouraged Cynthia Bower clearly wants the lessons of regulation learned by CSCI to be passed on. We had a very successful Scotland conference in September and there is still time to book for our Northern Ireland conference this month – see page 16. As I write, we are also preparing for our Winter Convention and AGM. Personalisation continues to preoccupy us, and we should note the findings of York University’s Social Policy Research Unit on pages 8-9. To promote in-house training, we have a half-price offer on our resource guides and training packs until the end of the year. There are also free employment policies and

By encouraging the now part-public owned banks to look more favourably on care investment, the Government would be continuing to tackle the issue of increasing demand for care and at the same time increasing investment and job opportunities

procedures on our website, which our members can tailor. I am delighted we have been awarded Investors in People for the third time - and commend the IIP process to members. Although the wall plaque is a bonus, it is putting the systems in place to achieve recognition that brings the real reward. Finally, as winter chills bite, we must ensure service users keep warm and well, despite increasing fuel costs. Look out for the campaigns and be vigilant. We must not lose sight of the needs of the old, the sick, and the vulnerable.

Mike Padgham UKHCA Chair

Homecarer – November 2008



Recruitment focus turns to the UK and Europe

Homecare providers are expected to re-focus their recruitment efforts on the UK and Europe, as changes to migration rules make it more difficult to bring in workers from beyond the EEA. The Government has dropped proposals to end the “ancestry route”, so those overseas with ancestral connections to the UK can continue to work here. UKHCA resisted these proposals on behalf of members, so we are glad social care employers’ objections have been heard. However, the detail of the new points-based system for migrant workers due to come in shortly will adversely affect young workers’ schemes and senior care workers coming from outside Europe. AM & S ad 24/1/08 10:35 Page5 1for the The rules of the new Tier Youth Mobility Scheme are expected to omit young workers from South Africa and Zimbabwe - a concern to live-in homecare providers. UKHCA

has lobbied officials on behalf of members to try and prevent this source of recruitment from drying up. Another cause for concern is the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendation that migrants performing senior care work must earning £8.80 an hour to qualify for entry to the UK under Tier 2 for skilled workers. Although it is too early to tell what the impact of the new tiers will have on the homecare sector, we may get more substantial evidence of the reliance of the care sector on migrant workers when Oxford University reports on its current research later this year. “A recent interview with new Immigration Minister Phil Woolas suggests that, if anything, curbs on immigration are likely to increase in the future, as the government floats the idea of imposing a numerical limit of £70 million on the total population.” The current changes to migration

rules are also likely to increase paperwork for employers recruiting from beyond Europe, who will have to apply for a sponsor licence to recruit under Tiers 2 and 5. With policymakers well aware that making recruitment from overseas harder for providers will impact on the sector’s ability to deliver homecare, we will be keeping up the pressure on council commissioners to cost contracts at a level that makes domestic recruitment more feasible. For information on the pointsbased system and sponsorship licenses, see: www.ukba.homeoffice. employers/points/whatisthepointsbasedsystem/ or call the Border and Immigration Sponsorship and Employer Helpline on 0845 010 6677. For member guidance on the obligatory checks employers must make to establish workers have a right to work in the UK, see px?search=&id=174

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Homecarer – November 2008

North West: North East: Scotland: Central: Southern:

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Homecare on the rural landscape A study commissioned by the Commission for Rural Communities, to which UKHCA contributed, has highlighted the particular issues of providing care in rural areas and how the transformation agenda may affect those living in the country. Paying for transport was an issue not only for people accessing support but also for homecare staff. If staff were paid for their time travelling, this added to the cost of supporting people who wished to stay at home. If staff were not paid, then they would not be able to afford to work in rural areas, or in social care. Information about care services was an issue too, with the quality and quantity of advice often dependent on whether local voluntary sector support was available. Service users generally considered that traditional care services could be more expensive in rural areas and, in some areas, there were said to be ‘very few local services to buy’. The report recommended there should be greater understanding of how the homecare market operates in rural areas, particularly local authority commissioning plans, to gain further understanding of the potential for developing different approaches to market development. It suggested that managing change, especially the move from block contracts to individual resource allocation, and the management of risk and viability, will need detailed discussion and negotiation with commissioners. Good news for our members is the report’s view that the

private sector, as the majority provider of home care services and care homes, will need to be involved in thinking through the implications for their services and in developing services for new and existing markets. The report comments that the effects on the workforce will need to be considered both in respect of their current activities and as personalisation develops in the future. For example, will there be workforce shortages if more people employ their own staff directly, or will homecare agencies and care homes be very attractive employers because they will provide training, backup, guarantees of health and safety provision, and continuity of employment? Will social care businesses take on new areas of work to meet older people’s expressed needs? Many of these questions apply to personalisation generally but, as the report notes, they do not only apply to rural care providers but the rural elements provide for highly localised contexts. The Social Care Workforce Unit at King’s College London conducted the research, which consisted of 33 interviews with people working and living in rural areas of England in early 2008. Three of these were for-profit social care providers and three were not for profit providers of social care. Written by Professor Jill Manthorpe and Dr Martin Stevens, the paper is available from: CRC%2078%20Adult%20Social%20Care.pdf

Homecarer Editor: Carole Broughton Editorial Panel: John Strangwick and Colin Angel Telephone: 020 8288 5291 Email: Editorial Advisers: Lucianne Sawyer, President; Yvonne Apsitis, Vice President; Noni Cobban, Vice President.

UKHCA Board: Mike Padgham, Chair; Andrew Wilson, Vice-Chair; Bill McClimont, Hon Secretary; Mark Hales, Treasurer; Gill Charlick, Colum Conway, Lynda Gardner, Barbara Hobbs, Valerie Robson, Sushil Radia, John Strangwick.

Homecarer is published by United Kingdom Homecare Association Limited (UKHCA) as a service to UKHCA members. Registered office: Group House, 2nd Floor, 52 Sutton Court Road, Sutton, Surrey SM1 4SL. Registered in England No. 3083104 ! Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this edition, it is intended to provide information rather than a definitive statement of the law; advice should be taken before action is implemented or refrained from in specific cases. UKHCA and its contributing authors accept no responsibility for action taken or refrained from solely by reference to the contents of this edition. ! Homecarer is designed and typeset by Simon Jenkins, 36, Allerton Grange Rise, Leeds, West Yorks, LS17 6LH. Tel 0113-2690557. ! Printing by Waites Printers, Unit Four, Tannery Business Centre, Northowram, Halifax, West Yorks. Tel 01422-204320 ! All views expressed in Homecarer are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Association or its Board ! UKHCA can accept no liability for services or products offered or provided. Inclusion in Homecarer does not imply endorsement by the Association. ! For an advertising pack or to find out about joining UKHCA, Tel 020 8288 5291, !

Homecarer – November 2008



New guide to working time issues

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We highlighted the application of working time and minimum wage rules to sleep-ins, on call duty and live-in care in our last Question and Answer column (Homecarer, September 2008 edition). Because these issues are complex and there are varying views on how the rules apply, our preferred solicitors Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, have now produced in-depth guidance for UKHCA members. This guidance examines the application of minimum wage and working time rules to sleepins, on call duty and live-in care and highlights the problem areas for homecare providers. UKHCA members can download a free copy of "Work, Rest and Pay: A guide to difficult working time and minimum wage issues in domiciliary care" by Douglas Mullen of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP from: aspx

Douglas Mullen tion edition www.CutePD sed with CutePDF evalua

We are Investors in People, time after time after time The Association’s managers and staf f were celebrating in September when UKHCA met the Investors in People standard for a third time. UKHCA was first recog-

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nised in 2002 and re-accredited in 2005. Although we were confident of our systems and approach to staff, reaccreditation this year was a challenge as it was against a new standard. The Association’s proud Chief Executive, Lesley Rimmer OBE, stated: “This is an excellent external recognition of how we work within the organisation and I am delighted we have retained our IIP accreditation for a third time. The techniques and approaches we have learned from IIP have made us a more responsive organisation and one in which staff are very flexible because they know they will have appropriate training to take on new tasks. I am happy that the new IIP standard focuses on leadership and management which are crucial issues in the sector for which we work in this time of rapid change. When we started IIP it was often a struggle to fit working for the standard into our schedules but it has paid off handsomely and the major developments that have taken place in the organisation have definitely been supported by working with an IIP approach. I would heartily recommend it to any organisation that wishes to develop and understands just how important staff are to the business.” There are three basic principles in the Investors in People Standard – Plan, Do and Review. These are underpinned by 10 indicators of good practice, each with a theme.

Homecarer – November 2008

Each indicator has a number of evidence requirements that need to be met – 39 in total. Some benefits identified by organisations who have achieved IIP have included: ! Increased competitiveness, productivity and profitability ! Improved reputation, motivation and morale ! Reductions in staff turnover and lost time ! Improved results such as sales figures, cost control and quality of outputs ! Better employee relations ! More effective communications, networking and people involvement ! Greater customer satisfaction ! Improved skills, multi-skilling and teamwork ! Smoother, more effectively managed organisational change Members who are currently considering applying for IIP and would like some more information can call me on 020 8288 1714 or visit and

Wosiela Bobie UKHCA Human Resources Manager

The long and winding road – an inspector’s perspective I am on the point of retiring as a Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) inspector after six years of registering and inspecting residential homes and care services in the London area, with a background that spans over 25 years in homecare. In my role as a former National Care Standards Commission and CSCI inspector, I found there were and still are - many problems involved with the regulation of homecare services. This is because all of us who are ‘in the know’ understand that homecare in the community is easily underestimated by those unfamiliar with it. The regulation of services to people in their own homes who are dispersed in the community is so different from the regulation of care in residential and nursing homes. I often wonder if the ‘powers that be’ realised homecare would be so different and organisations providing it would be so diverse, when regulation was brought in. Homecare providers range from large agencies in good office accommodation to small ones based in a spare room of a converted family home, often providing an excellent service to people who need the ‘personal touch’. Both large and small agencies have had a few issues in reaching the national minimum standards but most are now making good progress. We hope the days of seeing medication being set out in egg cups and care workers being left to struggle with difficult moving and handling situations without proper supervision are a thing of the past. It should be - but as the recent CSCI star ratings show - not all providers are quite there yet. I think that the three main cornerstones of good homecare are ! Training ! Monitoring ! Information

Homecare providers should have a satisfactory training programme and monitor the quality of the service provided. Care workers should be supported in the community by close monitoring, not just by telephone but in the field. Companies must also provide regularly updated

As the Commission for Social Care Inspection metamorphoses into the Care Quality Commission, Pauline Griffin, an experienced CSCI inspector, gives her personal view on regulating homecare providers and calls on councils to take more responsibility for service quality. information in terms of a service user guide and detailed care plans with duties to be carried out and timings. This is crucial in providing up to date information for service users and written information for the care workers to follow. If these three cornerstones are in place, services should be of good quality and in a position to improve radically where necessary. My experience of inspecting providers has been in a multi-cultural part of London, with care workers coming from a wide variety of different cultures. Sometimes workers are caring for people from their own culture and at other times, they need to understand the differences in culture of the people they care for. In most cases, they just need field supervision to help them provide a good service - service users like small things to be right for them, like the right snacks and a good cup of tea, to take an example from our own culture. Monitoring the quality of homecare is not an exact science because it revolves around the individual care worker, as far as service users are concerned. Quality questionnaires are the most popular type of sampling but, in my experience, service users are so bombarded with them from local authorities and

I often wonder if the ‘powers that be’ realised homecare would be so different and organisations providing it would be so diverse, when regulation was brought in

other agencies, they fear if they write anything uncomplimentary it will result in their care worker being withdrawn. Although telephone monitoring is considered to be the best way of checking time compliance and organising invoicing by local authorities and others, it does not replace proper field supervision that supports care workers and provides a familiar supervisor for service users to talk to. It ignores the problems of care workers getting to people by car or using public transport and service users’ homes that are ‘off the beaten track’. It also ignores the level of service that can be provided within these restrictions and problems that can arise fulfilling those 15-minute calls. The way forward must be for local commissioners to take more responsibility for the quality of service delivered under contract. In my view, this means seeing for themselves day to day what is being done for their service users and the issues that providers face in delivering care. The regulation of domiciliary care sought to establish minimum standards but it does not take away the responsibility of commissioners to ensure that services achieve the desired outcomes for users. Domiciliary care is still a misunderstood service, but it is provided to more people in the community than those in residential care. As the Care Quality Commission gets ready to take up the mantle, there is still work to be done if the highest standards of care are to be achieved for service users.

Pauline Griffin Independent consultant and former CSCI inspector

Homecarer – November 2008


Personal budgets – opportunities, The 2007 Government concordat ‘Putting People First’ placed the use of personal budgets at the centre of its vision for adult social care. Personal budgets are an upfront allocation of resources that can be taken in cash or services or a mixture of both. Individual service users will have the option to purchase their own support directly from provider organisations, to pay individual care workers privately or to pay family/friends for providing support. There is little research on the potential impact of individualised purchasing arrangements on home care providers. We asked 32 managers about the risks and opportunities they expected to arise from an increase in the use of direct payments and other forms of personal budgets. The research took place in 2007 in four English local authorities (LAs) that had different levels of deprivation, urban/rural mix and levels of take-up of direct payments. The agencies were diverse in terms of size, profit/not-for-profit, and providing generic or specialist services.

The rise of individualised purchasing arrangements is expected to have a considerable impact on homecare providers. Here Kate Baxter, Research Fellow of York University’s Social Policy Research Unit describes homecare managers’ views of the risks and opportunities offered by direct payments and other types of personal budgets.

Experiences to date Most providers had limited experience of clients using direct payments. When asked about the impact of direct payments, comments, such as ‘it’s bypassed us completely’, and, ‘it’s never quite materialised’, were not uncommon. There were two main reasons why direct payment users approached agencies for care. First, clients previously supported through an LA contract opted for direct payments in order to remain with their current provider after contract zone boundaries were changed or an existing provider failed to win the tender for a contract renewal. Second, clients approached agencies after having difficulties in recruiting and retaining care workers or personal assistants privately.

Financial issues Many providers were concerned about the financial risks from more personal budget users. They expected to see an increase in non-payment or late payment of bills. There were also concerns about delays in payments after the death of a service user. Whilst larger agencies were able to carry such debts, small ones were not. To alleviate these risks, agencies were planning to ask personal budget holders to set up direct debits or to pay for their care in advance. Other anticipated risks included increased difficulties in financial and workforce planning resulting from clients wanting intermittent access to services, perhaps from repeated hospital admissions or respite care. For LA-commissioned care, packages were sometimes held

open through the payment of a holding fee. Some agencies were considering introducing such a retainer for direct payment and private clients, whereby they would pay a reduced fee whilst not receiving services in return for re-accessing their package of care on discharge.

Risks of losing staff A third of providers had experienced care workers leaving to work privately for direct payment users. In many cases, the care workers returned to work for the same or other agencies at a later date. It was not clear why this happened but there was a suggestion that the service users’ expectations, and thus demands on the care worker, were too high. Agencies were concerned that, as the number of personal budget holders increased, more staff might be tempted to leave by offers of higher wages. Some managers had seen adverts for care workers placed by direct payment users that offered £2 to £3 an hour more than they could afford to pay as an agency. To deter staff from leaving to work for direct payment users, some agencies had already introduced clauses into care workers’ contracts prohibiting them from working privately for an agency client until six months after leaving the Vegetarian agency. Others were …for Life planning to introduce

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Homecarer – November 2008

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risks and mixed perceptions

Risks of losing clients Managers were also concerned that they might lose business as clients opting for personal budgets might not be able to afford agency rates. This was seen as a potential issue particularly for smaller packages of care purchased in half hour slots (often charged at more than half the hourly rate) or complex packages that required input from more expensive senior care workers. To avoid losing clients and to bring in new clients, some agencies were considering negotiating lower charges for existing clients who opted for personal budgets; others were willing to negotiate lower hourly rates for substantial packages of care. The concern that some clients would be lost, was tempered by a belief that they might return after realising that recruiting and managing privately employed care workers was not as straightforward as anticipated.

Business opportunities Overall, agency managers perceived fewer opportunities than risks. Some thought personal budgets would offer more opportunities to ‘top-up’ a LA payment and purchase more services. Some anticipated supporting individual clients outside their current LA contracted zones; others saw opportunities to offer new types of services, such as rapid response and 24-hour live-in support. A few agencies were considering diversifying into new areas of support, such as undertaking Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks for other organisations, setting-up training courses for their own and external staff, training care workers in complex needs, and offering domestic/housework services. Overall, providers were more comfortable with diversifying into areas that were a natural expansion of existing services rather than completely new areas of business. However, there was some reluctance to invest in developing any new services until the growth in the numbers of people using personal budgets actually materialised; at the same time, managers were aware that if they did not

Most managers had limited experience of clients using direct payments


The key findings

similar clauses. One agency banned their care workers from taking on part-time private care work alongside their agency work after having experience of a care worker prioritising private over agency work. Some agencies offered financial incentives, such as annual loyalty bonuses or wage increments for long service. Others made a point of highlighting to their staff the benefits of working for an agency rather than a personal budget holder, benefits, such as mentoring and regular contacts with colleagues to lessen feelings of isolation; 24-hour telephone support; guaranteed hours of work each week; flexible hours, including swapping shifts with colleagues, secure income if clients cancelled or passed away; sickness/holiday pay; opportunities to support diverse groups of clients; and transfers to other clients if relationships broke down. Clauses were also included in direct payment and private clients’ contracts stating that they would pay the agency a ‘finder’s fee’ if they poached staff and employed them on a private basis. Some agencies asked clients to sign agreements stating that they would not privately employ an agency care worker within six months of the care worker leaving the agency. Although written into the contracts, there was a general view that these clauses were a deterrent but perhaps not legally enforceable. Furthermore, agency managers were aware that clients receiving care through a care manager-purchased package did not sign any contracts; contracts were signed by the LAs. Thus, if these clients opted to transfer to personal budgets and pay their regular agency care workers privately, agencies could not stop them.

Overall they perceived fewer opportunities than risks


Many were afraid of losing business if clients could not afford agency rates


Most were concerned about the risk of debts from personal budget users


A third had experienced care workers leaving to work for direct payment users


Many were uneasy about personal budget holders purchasing care from unqualified and unregulated care workers


develop new services in advance, they might not be able to react quickly enough once the demand from personal budget holders actually arose. Many referred to it as a ‘chicken and egg’ situation.

Marketing issues Managers anticipated relying on word-of-mouth as well as printed materials to attract clients. However, the same publicity materials were used for all potential clients. This raised concerns about confusion and unrealistic expectations as some services available to personal budget holders (for example, support with shopping or social activities) could not currently be purchased by care managers for their clients.

Training issues There was widespread unease about the vulnerability of personal budget holders purchasing care from unqualified and unregulated care workers and the creation of unfair competition, as agencies were required to meet more exacting standards. The need to be qualified was believed to be deterring some potential care workers from agency employment, especially women in their fifties who wanted part-time work or those in their thirties who wanted to fit work around children. There were concerns that the pressures to obtain NVQs could result in those who wanted to undertake care work but not the formal training being pushed into working privately for personal budget holders. Managers believed that the supply of care workers might become less skilled over time as the demand for support in activities other than personal care (such as shopping, domestic work and social activities) increased. Many agencies already paid care workers according to their level of skills and experience, but expected that in the future they might have to introduce different rates of pay for different types of staff – such as those providing personal care and those with lower levels of training who provided domestic support or acted as companions.

Kate Baxter Research Fellow The above is a selective summary of findings from research undertaken by Kate Baxter, Caroline Glendinning and Susan Clarke at the Social Policy Research Unit, University of York and Ian Greener at the School of Applied Social Sciences, University of Durham. The full report can be downloaded from the SPRU website: provider.pdf !

Homecarer – November 2008


Training news

Dragon hails the Skills Academies Dragons’ Den Peter Jones welcomed the launch of four new skills academies, including one for social care, when he attended the event in London in October. Also present were UKHCA Chief Executive Lesley Rimmer, Lord Young, the new Skills Minister and Skills Secretary John Denham.

Peter Jones of Dragons Den with budding young business people at the launch

Peter Jones is chief of a new skills academy to teach budding entrepreneurs and met young, potential businessmen and women at the launch. The National Skills Academy for Social Care will open for business at the end of March next year and will encourage training in the care sector. Lesley Rimmer, who has worked closely with the steering group for Lesley the Skills Academy bid, said: Rimmer “A Skills Academy for social care is (middle row, vital given the increased significance second left), of social care in policy and the contribution it makes to people’s everywith Skills day lives. UKHCA has repeatedly Minister called on the government to put Lord Young more emphasis and commitment into the needs of the social care and Skills workforce and in creating a Skills Secretary Academy for our sector the government has clearly recognised the case John for support.â€? Denham She continued: “35,000 different (front left employers, many of whom are small and right) and medium enterprises in the independent sector, deliver social care each and every day. “It is vital that the Academy focuses in on UKHCA the management and leadership skills employAre you looking for a training provider ers need and raises who: understanding of the career opportunities that • understands that training has to social care can provide.â€? ÂżWDURXQGWKHQHHGVRIVHUYLFH The National Skills users and rosters? Academy for Social Care • delivers training in the will work with employers ZRUNSODFHDWWLPHVWRVXLW\RX across the social care DQG\RXUHPSOR\HHV" sector to establish pro‡ KDVGHYHORSHGDVVHVVPHQW grammes for learning, SUDFWLFHVLQGRPLFLOLDU\FDUHWKDW leadership, training WKH$GXOW/HDUQLQJ,QVSHFWRUDWH accreditation, career GHVFULEHGDVÂłH[FHOOHQW´" development and recruitment. 7KHQZK\QRWFRQWDFW8.+&$" With start-up funding of ÂŁ1.5 million from the :HFDQSURYLGH Learning and Skills Council and ÂŁ2 million )RUDQLQIRUPDOFKDWRQKRZZHFDQKHOS\RX ‡ /HYHOVDQGLQ+HDOWKDQG6RFLDO&DUH from the Department of PHHWWKHWUDLQLQJUHTXLUHPHQWVRIWKH1DWLRQDO ‡ )XOO\IXQGHGTXDOLÂżFDWLRQVLQPDQ\ Health, the academy will 0LQLPXP6WDQGDUGVWHOHSKRQH01202 683222. areas operate a membership $OWHUQDWLYHO\IRUPRUHLQIRUPDWLRQSOHDVHUHIHU ‡ $VVHVVRUTXDOLÂżFDWLRQV scheme for social care ‡ $FFHVVWRWKH8.+&$(PSOR\HU7UDLQLQJ WRRXUZHEVLWH employers. www.skills Network

UKHCA Training and UKHCA Training and Assesment Assessment Centre Centre


Homecarer – November 2008

Disclosure news Stop Press – “No Secrets” Review Announced New Care Services Minister Phil Hope has announced a review of the “No Secrets” adult protection guidance for councils, the police and the NHS. Key issues are whether new legislation is needed and the response to personalisation. The consultation is available from: /en/SocialCare/Socialcarereform/Safeguardinganddealingwithabuse/index.htm and closes on 31 January 2009.

Employers will soon have to refer to ISA Although it is nearly a year to go until “go live” of the vetting and barring scheme operated by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), it looks as if employers will have to make referrals from winter this year. To recap, the ISA is the body that will vet and bar those unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults and children across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Vetting and Barring Scheme, as it is now named, is due to start on 12 October 2009 but there will be changes to POVA referrals in the meantime. These are due to be introduced in winter 2008, subject to parliamentary approval. In summary: ! It is envisaged that ISA will begin to take decisions on whether someone should be on the barred lists in winter 2008. At this point employers making referrals to the POVA list will be required to make the referral to ISA (rather than to the current POVA team which acts on behalf of the Secretary of State). ! At the same time, individuals who are referred for listing will no longer be listed “provisionally” while ISA considers whether to bar them. Therefore prospective employers will need to check employment history and references carefully. It is recommended that, when taking up references from previous employers, these employers are asked if they referred the applicant to the POVA list on the grounds of misconduct which has harmed or caused risk of harm. ! There will also be a duty from that point on for employers, regulators

Hazlewoods confidential disposal service We work closely as a team with owners, providing strategic and experienced assistance to completion of the transaction.

Disclosure Service

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Norman Webber Head of Health & Care at Hazlewoods LLP in Cheltenham

Stage 1 – Preparation Time spent at this stage will be amply repaid through an efficient sale exercise and maximum price achievement.

Providing access to Criminal Records Bureau information and local authorities to provide certain information to ISA on request. Employers should note that there are no other changes planned to the duty to make referrals, nor are there any changes to the duty to make checks on prospective employees through the usual CRB process. This is early information on the changes for England and Wales, and we expect more detail soon, plus arrangements for Northern Ireland. In the meantime see /en/SocialCare/Deliveringadultsocialcare /Vulnerableadults/DH_088153 and information on the ISA website w w w. i s a - g ov. o rg . u k / D e f a u l t . a s p x ? page=369

AccessNI delays Aid for homecare services during current AccessNI delays is only temporary. For the temporary help to Northern Ireland providers because of delays issuing AccessNI disclosures, see page 16 of this edition of Homecarer.

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Homecarer – November 2008


National reports – England

Commissioning under attack from all The last few weeks has seen criticism of commissioning come from a number of quar ters, not least UKHCA for its impact on pay and conditions for the independent sector homecare workforce, which now numbers close to 300,000 people, almost double that of the police force in the UK. The first shot across local authority bows came from a report by the Social Care Employers Consortium, which represents organisations who provide social care services to local authorities, such as Mencap and Leonard Cheshire Disability. The Consortium’s findings, namely that charities are subsidising care services from their own resources because authority fees are inadequate, will come as no surprise to those who contract with local author-

Care assistants working for the voluntary sector were on average paid £150 a week less than refuse workers

National reports England

ity commissioners. And its finding, that care assistants working for the voluntary sector were on average paid £150 a week less than refuse workers, grabbed the headlines for the little value society seems to place on the vital work care staff do. The report adds to the mounting evidence of the impact commissioning has on the pay and conditions that providers are able to offer homecare workers. Readers would be justified in thinking that Department of Health’s flagship strategy to improve the status of social care in England would tackle this inescapable fact. Sadly, not so. The Department ’s “Interim Statement” on the Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy makes no mention of pay levels, nor the relation-

ship between public sector purchasing and its impact on the pay and conditions of the independent sector workforce. This is a regrettable failure to deal with one of the most pressing issues facing our sector, and one which we have called on the Department to rectify before its full strategy is published by the end of the year. UKHCA’s nine page response to the statement also called on the Department to consider another means of ensuring that national social care workforce training money reaches the independent sector. The grant is channelled through local authorities to spend across the social care workforce, including - quite rightly - the independent sector which delivers close to 80% of all publicly funded homecare. Yet a Skills for Care report found recently that in 2006-2007 the majority of the Department of Health’s grant – 63% - was spent on local authority staff and there was a £26 million under-spend. From April this year such grants are not ring-fenced and may be used for other local priorities than social care by local authorities, so there is even less of a guarantee that national money will be used for training the

National dementia strategy is taking Dementia has a devastating effect on a huge number of individuals and their families, but it seems only recently that policymakers and the media have woken up to the need to offer a much better deal to those living with the disease. Author Terry Pratchett and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher are just two of the 700,000 people across the UK who have been diagnosed with dementia, and this figure is set to double to 1.4 million people in the next 30 years as our population ages. The scale of the problem was discussed at the International Dementia conference held at Stirling University recently. Scottish Minister for Public Health Shona Robison echoed politicians UK-wide when she acknowledged the challenge of supplying quality care to growing numbers of people with dementia, and ensuring there is individual choice in how it is delivered. However, the dilemma of funding care is one that will trouble all four administrations of the UK.


Last year the government promised a National Dementia Strategy for England. This summer the Strategy was published for consultation, identifying the many areas where improvement is needed - from early diagnosis to information provision, to workforce awareness and training in the care and treatment of dementia. UKHCA responded to the Department of Health’s consultation and found much to welcome in the stated ambitions of the dementia strategy, but questioned where the resources were to back up its laudable aims. Homecare is clearly seen as a crucial service for those with dementia,

Homecarer – November 2008

UKHCA...found much to welcome in the stated ambitions of the dementia strategy but questioned where the resources were to back up its laudable aims

but as the Alzheimer’s Society commented: “This aspiration will not be possible in the current financial climate where local authorities can only provide care to people with “substantial” and critical needs. Serious consideration needs to be given to how to resolve the shortterm funding crisis in social care.” UKHCA has called for national ringfenced funding for the independent sector for dementia training and has warned of the development of an unregulated workforce under the personalisation agenda and the potential for abuse of those made vulnerable by the disease. Most importantly, there has to be a wholesale review of commissioning practice. The views of UKHCA members who responded to the invitation have been included in the draft commissioning guidance “Commissioning domiciliary care for people with dementia and their carers” which Lucianne Sawyer, UKHCA President wrote to accompany the National Strategy consultation document. It suggested that commissioners should consider:

National reports – England


social care workforce. While some local authorities are – and may remain - very good at engaging with providers and ensuring the money is equitably distributed to the workforce, it is unacceptable that much needed funding to train our sector is almost guaranteed to go to waste in many areas of the country. Our response also hammers home the many other issues facing the sector in terms of workforce development and capacity – not least the impending and potentially deterrent costs of careworker registration and Vetting and Barring schemes, forthcoming restrictions on recruiting the migrant workforce from outside of the European Union, the development of a “two-tier” workforce of unregulated careworkers under the new personalisation agenda, and the costs of fuel.

These current and impending costs for providers have also been set out by UKHCA in our response to the Low Pay Commission, which recommends the level for the National Minimum Wage in the UK each year, and has consulted on appropriate levels for 2009, and provisionally 2010. The Commission are keenly aware of relationship between what local authority (and Northern Ireland trust) purchasers pay, and what homecare providers can accommodate in terms of National Minimum Wage costs. UKHCA met Commission staff in October to discuss the issues in more detail and we hope to persuade the Commission to support our calls for a new legal duty on council commissioners to pay a fair price for care.

Donna O’Brien UKHCA Information Officer Social Care Employers Consortium: Social Care, has anything changed? (2008) reports.htm ! Department of Health: Adult Social Care Workforce Strategy Interim Statement (2008) SocialCare/workforce/DH_084575 !

shape The importance of homecare in providing support to people with dementia living at home and family carers ! The effects of personalisation and how choice can be achieved for those with fluctuating mental capacity ! The need for commissioners to understand dementia and how it can affect people so that they commission appropriate services, particularly specialist options, that meet the needs of their local area ! The importance of providing adequate time for care and for adopting an outcome, person-centered approach ! The importance of continuity of care worker and integrated social care and health services ! The need for training for all homecare workers from the start of their career in homecare, on caring for those with dementia. !

With regard to service specifications, the paper indicated that council con-

And UKHCA response: www.ukhca. ! UKHCA response to Low Pay Aaron Castle ad NDCA-UC-HM-0208 Commission report 2009:31/1/08 996 !

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Professional Indemnity tractors need to ensure their contracts set quality standards for services that reflect the particular nature of caring for people with dementia and set realistic prices that enable providers to resource services adequately. It also commented that contract monitoring will need to adopt a co-operative approach to working with providers, so the best outcomes can be achieved for users and their families. We will be watching to see if the approach of the issues paper, which showed an encouraging understanding of homecare providers’ concerns, will be reflected in the final guidance – and that commissioners adopt it in practice.

Donna O’Brien UKHCA Information Officer For more information on UKHCA’s response see: ! For commissioning guidance, ning/ !

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Homecarer – November 2008


National reports – England

Last chance for stakeholders to give views on care funding [SIMON – WAITING COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE SO IT MAY CHANGE A LITTLE

As we went to press, the Government was nearing the end of an extensive period of engagement with stakeholders about the long-term future of England’s care and support system. The Government wants views on how the existing system can meet the challenges of the future so it can formulate its Green Paper on the reform of adult social care. As explained by Alexandra Norrish, Head of Social Care Strategy at the Department of Health at Counsel and Care’s Graham lecture: “We are experiencing significant demographic change increasing demand for care and support… the cost of meeting this demand is unsustainable”. Quoting figures from modelling carried out by the London School of

National reports England

Economics, she said that the funding gap will be about £6bn in twenty years’ time. This is based on families and individuals providing care at the present rate and cost of care remaining at the present rate. On top of this, expectations are rising among older people and younger disabled people. Alexandra Norrish said the Government’s vision for the future of care was based around high quality services shaped to the needs of the user and supported by

a funding system which is fair, affordable and sustainable for everyone. No detals were given of the Green Paper but Norrish made it clear that it would carry on the personalisation agenda, cover benefits as well as housing support, and seek to establish a system that would be affordable, and last for at least 20 years. The Government wants views on who should be responsible for care, who should pay and how state funding should be allocated, what sort of system would work and should it be the same nationally and locally. Materials are available for discussions within networks and to generate opinions on the debate from The deadline for submitting views is 28 November, so there are only a few weeks’ left of the consultation period for homecare providers to have their say.

Plan to reform adult social care law UKHCA was able to catch a glimpse of what adult social care law may be like in years to come, when officials from the Law Commission called on us in September. The Commission’s brief is to make recommendations for law reform in England and Wales, which, if accepted by government, will turn into proposals for new legislation in about 2012. Discussions are at an early stage, but the areas for reform might include a general statement of rights to independent living, the single assessment process, fair access to care and eligibility and the framework for individual budgets and direct payments, among other topics.

Any legislation may be framed to prevent individuals being fast-tracked into residential care if they wish to stay at home, and prevent those who are content in a care home from being forced to move to another. We understand the reforms are not likely to cover the Care Standards Act and regulation of services. The Commission is currently looking at areas that need reform. Once it has Department of Health approval, advisory groups will be set up. We hope to be invited to represent homecare providers’ views, before a formal consultation takes place late next year. For more see:

Registration delay causes speculation As we went to press there was no definite news of workforce registration with the General Social Care Council (GSCC), despite former Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis telling UKHCA Head of Policy Colin Angel last May that an announcement on the compulsion date would be made “in weeks, rather than months”. “The lack of an announcement makes us wonder if the Government is still committed to the process”, Colin said. “Even more worrying is the possibility of registration being kicked into the long grass until after the next general election. If this


were so, it would be more likely the GSCC and Independent Safeguarding Authority’s and Protection of Vulnerable Groups schemes would come into play in short succession. This is too burdensome and costly for the sector to bear. If the Government is still committed to workforce registration, it should lessen the financial impact on the UK homecare sector. UKHCA estimates this will amount to an additional £18 million during the first five years.” The Government has its own concerns. It has apparently com-

Homecarer – November 2008

menced a review of the cost effectiveness of the three workforce delivery organisations it funds at a combined cost of £95 million annually. One is the proposed social care workforce regulator, the GSCC. The other two are Skills for Care and the Social Care Institute for Excellence. There has also been a change at the top of the GSCC. Rosie Varley OBE is the new Chair, replacing Sir Rodney Brooke, who is retiring after seven years in the role. We have written to Rosie Varley wishing her well in her post and drawing her attention to our members’ concerns about workforce registration.

National reports – England CSCI UKHCA meets Quality guidance Commission chief on service As we wait for our next regulator, homecare providers could be forgiven for wontransfers dering how things will change once the latest incarnation, the Care Quality Commission, gets underway next April.

To ensure that the particular needs of the homecare sector are understood, UKHCA Chief Executive Lesley Rimmer and Head of Policy Colin Angel met Cynthia Bower, who will lead the Commission in its joint role regulating both health and social care. “The meeting was an extremely positive one,” said Lesley Rimmer. We were pleased that Cynthia Bower was already familiar with a number of issues that concern homecare providers, like the link between commissioning and the delivery of quality care. At our meeting we were able to explain in some depth the challenges facing the sector”, said Lesley Rimmer. “This is only the start of what we hope will be a productive dialogue,” added Colin Angel. “We have asked very specifically that the knowledge about the homecare sector developed by CSCI’s inspectors is not lost during the reorganisation that is inevitable in such a large scale merger. Both of CQC’s preceding bodies have been

heavily criticised for inconsistent judgements, an issue this the new organisation much meet head on. “We were reassured to hear that CQC has no intention of doing anything to disrupt the work patterns of inspectors on the ground.” Three commissioners have been appointed to the shadow Care Quality Commission from 1st September: ! Professor Deirdre Kelly, Professor of Paediatric Hepatology, Birmingham Children's Hospital ! Lord Patel of Bradford OBE (Kamlesh Patel), Chairman, Mental Health Act Commission and ! Dame Jo Williams, Chief Executive, Royal Mencap Society. The remaining three appointments are expected to reflect user interests, financial and risk governance and clinical outcome or health or regulatory policy strength. Recruitment is also underway for senior posts at the Commission. Top jobs at CQC have been advertised at a salary of £100,000 - £150,000 a year each. Our understanding is that the appointments will reflect a balance of health and social care, if possible. For more, see

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) has published guidance on how it manages the registration process when providers sell or transfer their services. This includes what the seller and buyer need to do and what CSCI needs to know. For example, the sale or transfer cannot be completed and the new provider cannot take over control of the service until they are registered with CSCI. For the new guidance, see: www.csci. providers/all_services/re gistration/how_the_proce ss_works/amending_or_c ancelling_your_re.aspx

Homecarer – November 2008


National reports – Northern Ireland

Temporary aid amid AccessNI backlog Legislation allowing care workers to start work in homecare before their enhanced disclosure certificate has been received is temporary and likely to be withdrawn at the end of 2008 or as soon as AccessNI’s backlog is cleared. The easement came about because AccessNI was experiencing delays in issuing Enhanced Disclosures in early summer due to sheer volume of work and reflected many of the recommendations we made to policymakers. The Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety rushed through emergency legislation because of fears that the homecare sector would be unable to recruit. Under The Establishments and

National reports Northern Ireland

Agencies (Fitness of Workers) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008, workers can start work if employers follow the DHSSPS circular to the letter and complete monthly written assurances that its requirements are being followed. They also need to provide returns to RQIA with data on staff employed

UKHCA Northern Ireland Conference

Providing Quality Homecare Services – 18 November 2008, Belfast

under the easement. Even if an organisation is not using the temporary easement, it is still required to tell RQIA each month. Homecare providers wanting to take advantage of the emergency provisions must read the DHSSPS circular to be aware of the conditions they must comply with before staff can start work and should clarify any queries with officials. For more, see: we_do/registration__inspection_and_revie ws/safeguarding_vulnerable_groups_requ irements.cfm ! Disclaimer: UKHCA can accept no liability for organisations acting or refraining from acting solely on the information provided in this article, which does not attempt to be an exhaustive reference source or a statement of law.

Last chance to book!

Coming up soon is our annual conference in Northern Ireland, which is being held on 18th November at the Balmoral Hotel, Blacks Road, Dunmurry, Belfast, BT10 0NF. ! The programme is very exciting, and consists of a range of policy updates including regulation, registration and some practical sessions based on inspection requirements. We are also delighted to have secured two RQIA care inspectors and three RQIA pharmacy inspectors to attend to answer delegates’ questions. ! In response to member feedback, we have reduced prices from last year’s rate to - Members £95 + VAT and Non-members £190 + VAT. ! For the full programme and to book,see (Programme may change without notice). !

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Homecarer – November 2008

Just released! Version 4 of Roster now includes AQAA and Skills for Care NMDS

National reports – Wales

Last chance for stakeholders to give views on care funding A lot has been said about the lack of data about the homecare workforce in Wales and how this has hampered provider groups making their case to policymakers. How can you plan ahead for the future workforce, when very little is known about it? It seems that the Welsh Assembly Government has finally accepted the case for better data collection on the social care workforce and it wants to explore the potential of a data collection exercise similar to the National Minimum Data Set in England. This would gather essential information about the social care workforce from employers and produce statistics on issues such as worker pay, turnover, recruitment, qualifications and a range of other


National reports Wales

pertinent issues. For example, the corresponding exercise in England was able to show policymakers that turnover in social care is running at nearly 25%, a statistic that has been a powerful weapon in the armoury of those arguing for a fair price for care and helped to ensure local authorities understand the impact of their commissioning practice. Promoters of the National Minimum Data Set in Wales, the Care Council for Wales, are expected to adopt a basic format similar to England so the data can be aggregated - a steering group will ensure it is useful and pertinent for Wales. We hope to be involved in the work as it develops, to ensure it does not duplicate information collected by other bodies, or become onerous for providers. A further push to plan for the social care workforce needed to care for older people in the future has been launched by the Care Council and a host of partners. An Older People Workforce Network for Health and Social Care has been set up to focus on workforce issues, including how to provide enhanced services across social

and health care for older people. It will also be responsible for setting out the number of social care and health care support workers required to deliver services, and the skills and knowledge they would need to support older people in remaining independent and in control of their lives The Care Council is leading on the project, which involves a range of organisations, including the Welsh Assembly Government and employers and workers from the voluntary, private and statutory sectors across health and social care. Rhian Huws Williams, Chief Executive of the Care Council, said the work of the Older People Workforce Network would be vital in ensuring Wales would be well-set to meet the challenge of having a third of the population aged 50 or over by 2020. Yvonne Apsitis, Vice–President of UKHCA and Co-ordinator of the Expert Reference Group for Domiciliary Care in Wales (ERGDCW1 ) which have pressed for better workforce planning, welcomed the recent moves: “These are major steps forward in analysing the social care workforce and making sure we have the right staff in place to meet the demands of service users in the future.” A strategy for the workforce is expected within the next 18 months. The twin moves to improve workforce data and planning come at a time when the Care Council itself is under scrutiny, with a review underway of its work and role promoting high standards for the social care workforce.


Rhian Huws Williams

ERGDCW members are UKHCA, Care Forum Wales, Ceretas, National Homecare Council, voluntary sector providers, and Domiciliary Care Association Wales.

Free toolkit for workforce development Workforce Development is a key element of a quality domiciliary care business. Increasingly homecare providers are developing formal workforce strategies for their business. UKHCA has uploaded specially designed workforce tools for homecare providers, including a template to help providers develop their own workforce plan and a workforce matrix, that allows tracking of individual progress and provides evidence of employee development. The tools are free for members to download from:

Homecarer – November 2008


National reports – Scotland

Costs, demand, disclosure, personal Personalisation and the Scottish Government’s proposed vetting and barring schemes were just two of the themes of this year’s UKHCA Scotland Conference. Held in Edinburgh on 24th September, the conference heard from a range of speakers on the changing nature of homecare in Scotland and its implications for independent providers. Opening the conference UKHCA Chair Mike Padgham told delegates that the continuing demand for homecare seems to take place in a never ending environment of financial pressures from commissioners and current inflationary costs, not least the price of fuel for a highly mobile workforce. UKHCA has been actively campaigning on members’ behalf to raise these issues with the Scottish Government and in the media – “we have already highlighted the impact of fuel prices”, he said. Mike advised delegates that UKHCA’s national survey of the homecare sector in each UK administration will reach all homecare providers in October, and he strongly encourages all providers to complete the survey as it offers a unique opportunity to provide evidence on key issues affecting social care. The first speaker, Jacquie Roberts, Chief Executive of the Care Commission, reported on early results from the new Scottish grading system. The good news is that

National reports Scotland

only a couple of service providers scored below the line. Housing support and home care are doing well for care and support but poorer for staffing, management and leadership. Still, the Commission is looking for continuing improvement. They plan is to reduce inspection on those doing well and focus on those services not doing well. Jacquie Roberts told delegates not to underestimate the importance and value of self-assessing, and that one of the key elements of self-assessment and grading is a greater say for service users and carers. The focus should be on user outcomes. People should know what standards services should achieve, know what is on offer in services, help design the service, and take a full part in assessing whether the service is good enough. The grading system is not about imposing additional demands on services to have paper systems that the Commission would not otherwise require them to have. They will be proportionate, she said. To help

providers, the Commission has produced a provider guidance document, pointers to good guidance, information on service user and carer involvement, a provider log-in page and an electronic self assessment form. These are all on the Commission’s website. Personalisation and commissioning was the theme of independent consultant Andrew Reid’s speech. He pointed out that a personalised commissioning approach needs to involve two things: Giving service users greater choice and control in assessment and support planning; and Commissioning activity, both to deliver a care pathway and a range of resources to enable this to happen, and to deal with the service consequences. However, he sees major challenges ahead in developing the social care and support market. These include commissioning for individual services, creating flexible services for all the people using them, and managing the balance between providing financial flexibility and ensuring market stability. Statutory commissioners will also need to build sustainable, long-term relationships with service providers, as well as establish contractual arrangements, which allow greater provider flexibility. After morning coffee, Scottish Care at Home and Mike Docherty of Scottish Social Services Council tackled the issue of workforce training needs and development.

Stats reveal the rising costs of care The cost of providing free personal care has increased by nearly three quarters since the policy was introduced. £224 million was spent on caring for people in their own homes last year, compared to £129

million in 2003-4. About 42,400 older people receive free personal care at home. Reasons for the increase in expenditure on personal care at home include a shift in the balance of care towards larger

packages of care at home and an increasing proportion of homecare users requiring personal care services. More from: www.scotland. 433

Know your local agreement The launch of Single Outcome Agreements (SOAs) across Scotland 32 Local Authorities is forging an entirely new relationship between local and national government. This is a part of the Concordat agreed by COSLA and Scottish Government. All 32 Scottish Councils have produced an SOA to deliver national government policies and to integrate this with their local priorities and plans. The aims are to give greater flexibility in delivering and improving local services, to reduce bureaucracy from the centre, remove duplication and make better use of limited financial resources. UKHCA members are advised to make themselves


Homecarer – November 2008

aware of the SOA for each local authority with whom they do business to become familiar with aspects which may affect the local priorities and the way in which the council conducts its business in the future. One way to judge your local SOA is to measure it against the Scottish Government National Outcomes, the new performance management framework to measure the success of community care services.

Noni Cobban UKHCA Vice-President

Scottish Government National Outcomes: utcomes

care – conference tackles key issues

Importance of self-assessment – Jacquie Roberts Scottish Care at Home presented the results of their project to scope the private and voluntary home care sector workforce and its training needs, while Mike Docherty spoke about funding for training. Scottish Care at Home’s survey shows that most agencies are small and independent, fragmented with disparate services spread throughout Scotland. Pay and conditions are not competitive or attractive, and may be unsuitable as skills demands increase. Agencies have little sense of support or networking between them, and a high percentage have staff on zero hours contracts. This suggests instability in the workforce. Care at home providers are also less well informed and supported than other care providers as regards prospective regulation and legislation and workforce requirements. Moreover, there is a volatile and unstable contract market which is fragmented and inconsistently planned. This further disadvantages the sector from developing sustainable services and a confident, competent workforce. The risk, according to Scottish Care at Home, is that small providers exit due to contracting pressures. More resources, they say, are desperately needed. The message from Mike Docherty was not good. There had been cuts and changes in funding for modern apprenticeships. He said that there might be as few as 100 modern apprenticeships in social care, and there has been a fall in SVQ Level 3 registrations, though there had been an increase in Level 2. Following lunch, delegates watched a film made by the

Challenges ahead – Andrew Reid

Scottish Dementia Working Group, an independent group run by people with dementia, and heard moving accounts from three people diagnosed with dementia. One told delegates of how he lost his job, driving licence and his home. All spoke of the disempowerment they felt following a diagnosis, in particular by health professionals who speak down to them in a patronising way. As one speaker put it, “I am a person, not an illness”. Still, they felt that something could be done about it. A start would be to empower professional workers by explaining to them that there is life after dementia. Amanda Scott of Living Independently spoke of the potential of telecare, in particular third generation preventative and predictive monitoring systems that can monitor key activities of daily living like bathroom usage, eating and drinking, taking medication and sleeping patterns. They can alert to things like a fall, lower than normal activity levels, and changes to meal preparation activity. Amanda Scott gave the example of a service user as making a large number of trips to the bathroom – 10 rather than her typical once or twice a night. From this it was clear that the service user did not sleep at all that night. Having been alerted by the monitoring system, her carer took her to the doctor who diagnosed a urinary tract infection. Following treatment, the service user ’s night bathroom visits returned to normal within 48 hours of the alert. The final speaker, Michael Proctor, Head of the Protection of Vulnerable

Groups Implementation Programme, set out the Scottish Government’s proposals for the new vetting and barring scheme. He said that the new scheme will ensure that those who either have regular contact with vulnerable groups through the workplace, or who are otherwise in regulated work, do not have a history of abusive behaviour. It will stop people who are in paid or unpaid work who are unsuitable from working with children and/or protected adults and detect those who become unsuitable while in the workforce. The scheme offers improvements over the current system. This includes a new list of adults who are unsuitable to work with protected adults and the continuous vetting of individuals after the initial disclosure check has been made. Employers will also have more information to decide on the suitability of an individual for a particular post. When will it happen and how much will it cost? Unfortunately, Mike Proctor couldn’t tell us but hopes he will be able to give some dates when it’s going live by next spring. (For more information on the PVG scheme, he advised providers to visit their website g-People/children-families/pvglegislation.)

Francis McGlone Senior Policy Officer

Conference presentations available from: ! Results of UKHCA national homecare survey will be published on our website !

Homecarer – November 2008


Membership services

Members get valuable client leads As a new initiative from the membership team, in every edition of Homecarer we will be featuring a benefit or service that UKHCA provides to members. In the September edition of the Homecarer we described our new banding and fee structure that will better support the small, medium and large organisations we represent. In this edition, we report on the Client Referrals that our members receive automatically after they join us.

How do client referrals work? The UKHCA helpline team take regular calls from members of the public looking for care in their area. Generally these calls are from family and friends of those wanting to stay in their own home but unsure how to go about arranging homecare. In response to these requests, we provide a list of members that deliver care and support in the area required and the UKHCA publication ‘Choosing care in your home’. This publication is a useful guide to where to start looking for care and also explains that all UKHCA members must comply with our UKHCA Code of Practice. The Code states that the: ! The rights of service users are paramount ! The highest standards of care are provided and ! The rights and welfare of careworkers are protected. ! The information we supply to the public is available

online at: - see above. Membership Officer Sarah King said: ‘This is a valuable support to businesses. Our client leads advertise members’ services and provide useful information to members of the public’. ‘It is very important that members keep us up to date with changes to their contact details and services, as these appear in the lists we supply to the public’. For a complete list of UKHCA member benefits and services, please see: or contact Sarah King on 0208 288 8720.

UKHCA Membership – what’s in it for you? Client referrals Publications

Subsidised training resources

UKHCA benefits & services

Insurance Subsidised conferences & events Member helpline: 020 8288 5291

NVQ assessment centre

UKHCA – working for quality in homecare In addition to benefits and services, members can be assured that our campaigning efforts are not going unnoticed. Our Campaigning for Homecare Providers publication highlights our press coverage on BBC News channel, along with other media successes.

Subsidised criminal record checks UKHCA helpline


Policy guidance & email alerts

in action

Representing the homecare secto r

Mike Padgha m Chair


Holiday Pay Action Pack A campaigning resource for UKHCA member organisations September 2007

Lesley Rimme r OBE Chief Execut ive

Quality Kite Mark

Where we’r e quoted

All Party Parlia mentary Groups BBC local radio BBC News Chann el BBC Radio 5 Live BBC Radio Scotla nd Care Manageme nt Matters Caring Busin ess Channel 4 News Commission for Care Inspection Social Community



Financial Times In Business (BBC Radio 4) Laing and Buisso n Public Servic e Review Royal Bank of Scotland The Guardian The House of Lords The Northern Ireland Assembly The Observer The Times You and Yours

Campaignin g for homecare providers Colin Angel Head of Policy

Donna O’Brien Information Officer



Homecarer – November 2008



(BBC Radio 4)

Join UKHCA and of our campaig get the most out ning activitie s. Visit www.ukhca.c or call 020 828 /joining.aspx 8 5291. Version 1, August 2008




United Kingd om Homecare Association ! UKHCA, Ltd Group House , 52 Sutton " 020 8288 Court Road, 5291 | ! enquir Sutton, SM1 4SL ies@ukhca.c | " www.u


Members’ news

Border caring funds palliative care pilot UKHCA member Borders Caring Services (BCS) has taken the initiative and funded its own special palliative care service pilot. Director and UKHCA Board Member Val Robson, pictured right, explains: “We believe that good homecare is essential to enhance a person’s quality of life by enabling those who are elderly or vulnerable to remain in their own homes and within their own communities. “In addition to providing domiciliary care services to Scottish Borders Council and private clients, we also use our

charitable resources to fund projects for special or extra care needs. “We were pleased to launch a new Special Palliative Care service in conjunction with NHS

Borders at Home scheme, with initial funding of £50,000 for a 12-month trial. There will be an option to extend for two years and initially the service will operate in Selkirk, Galashiels and Melrose and surrounding areas, with possible referrals from outside. “The project depends on close working partnerships with other health professionals. In other words - a total team approach where each member has different skills - pain prevention, relief of suffering, physical, psychosocial, emotional, spiritual and more.

“Palliative or end of life care is an approach that improves, as far as it can, the lives of people who are facing problems associated with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. “We would hope our initiative will help support the case for the provision of high quality care for all those in need – and perhaps inform on-going national discussion on strategic issues relating to joint health and social care planning, including the need for a realistic assessment of the effectiveness of end of life care.”

Triple success for Highland team Inverness-based UKHCA members Highland Home Carers swept the boards at the Philip Baxendale Awards, held at the Baxi Partnership Annual Council Conference in October, where they lifted three of the four awards available. Support Worker Jocelyn Mitchell was Employee Ownership Champion, and the company was given both the Employee Ownership Culture Award and the Employee Ownership Initiative Award. Nine hundred employees were involved in these awards, which recognise the work of employee-owned companies UK-wide.

Winners – Highland Home Carers, from left, Ruth Morrison, Ralf Ross, Stephen Pennington, Cath McCormick and Jocelyn Mitchell

Sushil Radia to lead Counsel and Care

Congratulations to UKHCA Board Member Sushil Radia, pictured left, who succeeds Pam Hibbs CBE as chair of national charity Counsel and Care. Sushil is managing director of Westminster Homecare Limited, has been a UKHCA Board Member since 2006 and involved in the care of elderly sector since 1989. Sushil said Counsel and Care is aware of the many unmet care needs in the country. Its challenge is to raise its funding base and deliver advice and information to older people and their carers as effectively as possible.

Homecarer – November 2008


Conferences, workshops and publications New publications Building a successful team resource guide Team building is an important factor in providing a quality service and remaining competitive. It doesn’t have to mean the attendance at a day building bridges out of Lego or crossing a ravine on a high wire. Moreover, it is about developing a group of individuals to work together in harmony for the greater good of the organisation. The focus of the team is a common vision, mission, goal or objective that can be worked towards, utilising the strengths of each team member and overcoming problems along the way. !

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UKHCA have produced an easy to use resource guide and training programme on team building to help member organisations to develop their own successful teams. UKHCA members: £37.50 half-price £18.75 each, Nonmembers £107.50 half-price £53.75 each.

UKHCA consultants and suppliers supplement Free for members with this edition of Homecarer – UKHCA Consultants and Suppliers Supplement 2008/9. The supplement is also publicly available online at:

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Recent publications Nutrition guide and training programme


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There is very little information about the nutritional status of service users living at home being care for by social care staff. However, it is estimated that 25% of people over the age of 65 in the UK are at a medium to high risk of malnutrition.1 Malnutrition and dehydration often go unrecognised, mainly because of a lack of nutrition training, a lack of understanding of who should shoulder the responsibility for the service user’s nutritional needs and lack of assessment of the service user’s dietary needs, this despite there being over 50 nutritional screening tools available to use. With this in mind, UKHCA have developed a nutrition resource guide and care worker training pro-

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gramme to provide information on how to recognise malnutrition and dehydration, specifically in older people, through appropriate assessment and care planning. The package also helps care workers to assist with menu planning, shopping and food preparation and takes into consideration special dietary and cultural requirements. The pack concludes with some tips on the presentation of food ensuring it looks attractive enough to eat. ! UKHCA members: £75 £37.50 each, Non-members: £170 £85 each

Employment policies and procedures for members Well-drafted policies and procedures are important for any employer and particularly for those in regulated sectors like homecare, where inspectors check that good practice is observed in staffing matters. Each area of employment should have a written policy setting out the broad principles that the organisation will observe, and a more detailed procedure stating how the policy is put into practice. To help our members develop

their own policies and procedures, we have launched a selection of sample documents available to download free. Topics available so far are: ! Equal opportunities and diversity ! Staff recruitment and selection ! Induction ! Appraisal ! Staff Learning and Development ! Annual Leave ! Grievance These are general in nature and will need to be adapted to suit the needs of the organisation concerned, following legal a d v i c e where nece s s a r y. We hope they will be a useful starting point for members. Accompanying forms are included where appropriate. Policies and procedures are free for members to download from Policy Number: 1

Staff Equal Opportunit ies And Diversity Policy

1. Purpose

This policy sets out the standards to be achieved by staff in providing people with relation to equality of opportunity individuals who have and valuing people diverse experiences, as backgrounds and beliefs . 2. Scope This policy applies to all members of staff who are full-tim time, temporary or e or partpermanent, consul tants, those on fixed-t contracts, Board Membe erm rs and contractors who work on any premises of [name of the of organisation].

3. Policy

[Name of organisation] is an equal opportunities to ensuring that the employer, committed talents and resources of all employees are to the full. [name of utilised organisation] aims to attract and retain broaden our skills staff and base in a stimulating and healthy environ is free from prejudice. ment that As such, [name of organis adopting, implementing ation] is committed to and monitoring a Policy for all employees to of Equal Opportunities exclude discrimination from the work-place ensure that access and to to employment and fair treatment are practiced. genuinely

Implementation and management of this Policy is the respon each individual employ sibility of ee and they are obliged accordance with the to respect and act policy. It is the objecti in ve of the Policy that shall be no discrimination there towards employees ethnic origin, creed, for any reason of race colour, religion, politica or impairments, marita l affiliation, disabil ity or l status, parenthood, orientation or offendi sexual gender, sexual ng background. In this respect, employ disabilities will only ees with be prohibited from positions where the the job involve activiti duties of es which would make it impossible or inheren hazardous to perform . tly

Staff will be promo ted on their individ ual ability to do the performance. All staff job and will have equal and fair access to learnin development as identifi g and ed through their perform ance appraisal.


Nutritional Screening Survey on Admission to Hospitals, Care Homes and Mental Health Units – 2008 BAPEN

For details of our full publications catalogue please see: alternatively please contact 020 8288 5291 for more information. All prices include postage and packing, and VAT where applicable. Half-price offer on training guides and resource packs applies to orders received by 31 December. To order online, see Resources are now even easier to find on our website and many are free for members to download, so do browse through what’s available. Would members like new resources on particular topics? with your ideas. !


Homecarer – November 2008

Conferences, workshops and publications Events diary Event

Date and Venue

Dementia Workshop ........................................................................Thursday 13th November, Sheffield Northern Ireland Conference (see page 16 of this Homecarer) ..................Tuesday 18th November, Belfast Recruitment & Retention/Marketing Workshop ...................................Tuesday 25th November, Chester Employment Law Workshop ...................................................................Tuesday 2nd December, Sutton For further information about any of the events listed above, or to download a booking form, please visit: Our 2009 events diary will be launched in the January edition of Homecarer. !

Half-price offer on all resource packs! With providers’ budgets under pressure, we thought it was time to bring some welcome relief. All our trainer’s guides and resource packs are half-price for orders received by 31 December this year.

Trainers’ Guides and Resource Packs

UKHCA Member Price

Domiciliary Care In-house Trainer’s guide £80 £40 each Food Hygiene Train the Trainer Pack £125.50 £62.75 each Medication Train the Trainer Pack £190.00 £95.00 each Dementia Training Pack £140.00 £70.00 each Infection Control Train the Trainer Pack £57.50 £28.75 each Time Management Resource Guide/Training Programme £37.50 £18.75 each Stress Management Resource Guide/Training Programme £37.50 £18.75 each Customer Care Resource Guide Free Free to download for members from

Non-member Price £155 £77.50 each £235.50 £117.75 each £310.00 £155 each £210.00 £105.00 each £107.50 £53.75 each £107.50 £53.75 each £107.50 £53.75 each £80 £40 each

Other resources Medication Policy Template – CD version £29.38 each £176.25 each Free to download for members from or CD A Guide to Quality Assurance £10 each for printed copy £80 each Free to download for members from Adult Protection Toolkit produced by UKHCA and Action on Elder Abuse Free to all from: Overview of the Domiciliary Care Sector Free to all from: Consultants and Suppliers Directory 2008/9 – listings of suppliers to homecare providers Free to all at:

UKHCA Publications Order Form (Please print clearly) Number required

Product description

Unit price

Total price


Your details Name: Organisation: Address: Postcode: Telephone

UKHCA Member no:

Please send the completed form with a cheque in pounds sterling, payable to “UKHCA” to: UKHCA, Group House, 52 Sutton Court Road, Sutton, SM1 4SL Telephone: 020 8288 5291, Fax: 020 8288 5290, e-mail:

Homecarer – November 2008



I’m newly appointed at a care agency and have a business development brief. Where can I find useful information on personalisation? As a timeline, the move to personalisation was broadly triggered by the “Putting People First” agenda set out in December last year when the Government announced it would like everyone to have a personal budget. If you want a glossary of all the buzzwords and language used, see this article in Community Care magazine at: 2008/08/12/102669/direct-payments-personal-budgetsand-individual-budgets.html

At around the time of Putting People First Concordat, councils were given money in the form of the “Social Care Reform Grant” to make a three year transformation of their services, so by the end they’d been able to offer people personal budgets. Your local council will have some of the £520m three year funding for such a transformation. An arm of the Department of Health called CSIP, has developed a “personalisation toolkit” for authorities to help them begin the transformation. Part of this is guidance to commissioners - see the Department of Health’s publication: “Commissioning for Personalisation: A Framework for Local Authority Commissioners”, available from: (This also has useful background information and references to the “Putting People First’ policy.) Good for our sector is the guidance encourages commissioners to ensure users have a choice of providers and engage with providers in their area. So what does “transformation” mean for people who actually deliver services? We’re suggesting to the Department of Health that it needs to do much more to help providers manage this change. Many challenges for providers are identified in an introductory article on personalisation in the September edition of Homecarer by our President Lucianne Sawyer. Her longer, companion article was published by the Journal for Care Services Management and is available for members at

Q A and

A selection of questions put to the helpline

Institute for Excellence is launching a rough guide to personalisation so check their website for details: We will disseminate news of this, and other developments, to members via our e-mail alerts.


This edition of Homecarer contains research findings by the Social Policy Research Unit of York University of a survey of homecare managers’ views of individualised budgets and how they are adapting to change. The full research is available at: We also report on a study on personalisation and rural communities on page 5 of this Homecarer. Despite all the talk about personal budgets and direct payments, there is a case to say that personalisation will mainly be about making sure services are more “outcome” focussed rather than time-limited tasks listed by social services in a care plan. Many service users may prefer a bit more flexibility in the service they’ve been prescribed by social services, and care plans that are geared towards their needs and wishes, rather than the responsibility of using a personal budget to organise their own care. Lucianne Sawyer has also written about outcome focussed homecare and her presentation is at: omeCare.pdf

Finally, we understand that the Social Care


My local authority is insisting on seeing enhanced disclosures for our staff who are working on their contracts. The September edition of Homecarer said it is illegal for me to disclose them, but the local authority say as a “government department” they can require to see the disclosures. Are they a “gov ernment department”? We asked our preferred solicitors Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP for their view on whether local authority staff could require you to show them CRB Disclosures, by claiming that they are a “government department” for the purpose of Section 125(6)(b) of the Police Act 1997. They advised that the council’s interpretation of this section of the act is erroneous, and concurred with our view that “government department” should be interpreted as central government (including government in the UK administrations), but not a local authority. You might like to challenge the council to produce advice to the contrary. Do you have specimen policies and procedures that I can use when employing staff? New to our free web resources for members is a selection of the most commonly used policies and procedures that employers can adapt to suit their own organisation when they employ staff. Topics available so far are equal opportunities and diversity, staff recruitment and selection, induction, appraisal, staff learning and development, annual leave and grievance. We’ve also launched a new workforce development toolkit which helps members develop their own workforce plan, and keep track of individual training. For more, see page 17 of this edition of Homecarer.

LEFT OUT: Managers’ key role in NVQ targets Workforce and service regulators in Nor thern Ireland have not imposed short-term targets for care staff to be NVQ-qualified, but employers need to be aware their staff will need such qualifications in the future. Under the new Minimum Standards in Northern Ireland, the registered manager has to be aware of DHSSPS strategic targets for the training of, and attainment of NVQ qualifications by, care workers (Standard 12.5). The targets state that by 2016 all new social care registrants or re-registrants will be required to be working towards or hold relevant part or whole NVQ appropriate to their job role. The term “registrants” relates to registration with the appropriate professional regulatory body, which for social care workers is the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC). No date has yet been announced for the compulsory registration of care staff, so the

Keep Warm, Keep Well information campaign

Leaflets have been produced for the launch of the national Keep Warm, Keep well programme, which aims to reduce chronic and acute health risks associated with cold weather. The main leaflet contains advice for people working in primary care or social services and for homecare providers. The leaflet contains information about the dangers of cold to vulnerable people, and helps services plan before and during winter, and for any particularly cold period. veringadultsocialcare/Olderpeople/ DH_4076849 We will look out for similar campaigns in other parts of the UK and add these to our email alerts for members.

requirements on employers in Standard 12.6 to make arrangements to ensure that care workers are able to maintain their registration are premature for the social care workforce. The Minimum Standards state at 12.3 that mandatory training requirements must be met. RQIA will be checking that induction training has been carried out. This has been mandatory on care staff since April this year and must be conducted to NISCC Induction Standards. Standard 12.4 also requires employers to identify the training needs of individual staff for their roles and responsibilities and make arrangements to meet them. According to Christine Johnstone, responsible for education and training at the NISCC, at this stage the regulator is expecting employers to be thinking about their staff doing either whole or part NVQs relevant to the job role. The Council is working on a general “Fitness to

Practice” Framework which will set the level and type of qualification for each role in social care, linked to requirements for future registration and re-registration on the Social Care Register, and will consult on this later this or early next year. NVQ targets are likely to apply to both full-time and part-time staff, as qualifications relate to job role rather than hours worked and equality laws prevent part timers from being treated differently. The homecare sector in Northern Ireland must hope that significant progress is made to find funding to improve its qualification profile by 2016. At the moment this represents a considerable barrier for providers – an issue we are driving home to policymakers and commissioners. For the Personal Social Services Training and Development Strategy 2006-2016, see: www.dhsspsni. For NISCC Induction Standards, see:

Homecarer Nov 2008  
Homecarer Nov 2008  

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