In November 2011
UKHCA wrote to councils in England and Wales asking six key questions
about how the council engages with homecare providers and the effect their actions
are having on providers and those receiving services. We reminded councils that
while judicial reviews against commissioners have so far been mounted by residential
providers, authorities must also consider the implications of their commissioning
decisions for domiciliary care providers.
has written a second letter to councils, reminding them about some of the specific
cost pressures facing providers and the need for councils to take these into account
in their commissioning. We also asked for specific information about the number
of people receiving homecare and the cost of that care in 2010 and 2011. We also
asked about the number of people receiving direct payments and the cost of those
in 2010 and 2011.
Members can find responses to our letter from their own council on our
Website to help employers recruit social care workers
CareJobFinder.org is an innovative, free service
to help employers contact people actively looking for work in social care. The service
has been created by
UKHCA and funded by the Department of Health.
Employers recruiting staff to work in homecare agencies, extra-care housing schemes
and housing support services can register to use the service by visiting
www.carejobfinder.org/join. When prospective recruits submit their details
on-line, employers in the local area will receive an e-mail containing full contact
details, a summary of previous experience and the recruit's work preferences. Employers
then have the option to contact prospective recruits directly and begin their normal
More information, frequently asked questions and the simple registration process
for employers can be found at www.carejobfinder.org/join.
United Kingdom Homecare Association
(UKHCA) is the professional association of home care providers from the independent,
voluntary, not-for-profit and statutory sectors.
UKHCA helps organisations that provide social care, which may include
nursing services, to people in their own homes, promoting high standards of care
and providing representation with national and regional policy-makers and regulators.
The Association represents over two-thousand members across the United Kingdom, in England,
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
UKHCA has now moved office to Wallington, nearest station Hackbridge
Please be aware that UKHCA has now moved office. Our new address is: UKHCA, Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington SM6 7AH. Map of location of new office.
Email addresses and telephone numbers have not altered, however the fax number has changed to 020 8669 7100. If you have already posted something to our current address, rest assured we will still receive it as all post is being temporarily diverted to our new site. If you have any questions about the move, please call us on 020 8661 8188.
Disclosure delays likely
Please note the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) are changing to a new IT system and the majority of their services have been suspended from 5pm Friday 7th March until 8am Wednesday 12th March. Members who use the UKHCA Disclosure Service can submit applications as normal and we in turn can send our applications electronically to the DBS. However, there will be a delay in the processing of Adult First requests, DBS applications and issuing results, more from: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dbs-service-availability-the-details
Announcement posted on: 21 February 2014
Care Show Bournemouth 26th and 27th March 2014
UKHCA will be working with the Care Show Bournemouth to produce a programme of seminars tailored to meet the interests of homecare providers. The introduction of a presentation theatre specifically focused on homecare themed issues is further recognition of the importance of the role of the homecare sector meeting the needs of the community.
Topics to be covered include:
• Future and current challenges in homecare
• Individualised Service Funds (ISF)
• Recruiting for Values
• Staying ahead of the National Minimum Wage
• Dealing with Dementia in homecare
• 10 Top Tips in marketing your homecare business
• Medication management in homecare
• Review websites and the NHS Choices
Register now for free entry: Visit: http://www.careshow.co.uk/bournemouth/
Announcement posted on: 20 February 2014
UKHCA Homecare Workers' Handbook - offer ends 31st March 2014
New Year offer for UKHCA members ends 31st March 2014.
UKHCA Homecare Workers' Handbook is discounted until the end of March. Prices for members range from £7.99 for a single copy to £6.39 for orders of 200 plus copies. Equivalent prices from 1st April 2014 - £8.99 and £7.29 respectively. Ordering information.
Announcement posted on: 20 February 2014
UKHCA's minimum price for homecare (valid until 30th September 2014)
United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) publishes for the first time an estimated minimum price for homecare services of £15.19 per hour, which allows full compliance with the prevailing National Minimum Wage and the delivery of sustainable homecare services to local authorities.
UKHCA’s Policy Director, Colin Angel, said: “The price of an hour of homecare is a vital question for local and central government, statutory regulators, trades unions and the public. It is essential that a viable regulated homecare sector is available to support the care of older and disabled people who choose to remain at home. The prices councils pay for care must cover the costs of the workforce, including - as a minimum - full-compliance with the prevailing National Minimum Wage, including the time spent travelling between service users’ homes."
UKHCA's minimum price is valid until the National Minimum Wage is due to increase on 1st October 2014. UKHCA's Briefing "A Minimum Price For Homecare" also provides equivalent charges for payment of the UK Living Wage and London Living Wage. BBC News website coverage. BBC Radio File on Four.
Announcement posted on: 10 February 2014
NMC consulting on revised Code of Practice
The Nursing and Midwifery Council is running a two part, six month public consultation on revising its Code of Practice for nurses (the standards of good nursing and midwifery practice) and implementing revalidation. The first part, which runs 31 March, concentrates on how the proposed model of revalidation can be implemented in a variety of employment settings and scopes of practice, to enable a draft revised Code and guidance for revalidation to be developed. We understand the revised Code of Conduct could have significant implications for providers who employ nurses, so we urge UKHCA members from across the UK who employ nurses, and their nursing staff, to take part in the consultation by completing the online survey.
More on "NMC consulting on revised Code of Practice"
Announcement posted on: 07 February 2014
Cuts in social care are the root cause of A&E crisis
In response to figures highlighted today by the Labour Party that show an 81% rise in the number of over-90s in England brought to A&E by ambulance, UKHCA Chair Mike Padgham said:
“Andy Burnham is absolutely right to say that a crisis in care has led to the massive increase in older people being rushed to already over-stretched hospital A&E departments. This is a direct result of the draconian cuts in Local Authority spending on social care. Regular visits by homecare workers are, arguably, a far more important factor in enabling people to live their daily lives safely and independently in their own homes than GP services...We call on the Government to redress urgently the cuts in social care funding being implemented by Local Authorities and to direct funding to social care services..."
Full UKHCA media release.
Announcement posted on: 29 January 2014
Introducing Fundamental Standards
The Department of Health has issued a consultation on how it will change Care Quality Commission registration requirements to introduce the Fundamental Standards of Care. The DH explain they have dropped the idea of having both Fundamental and Expected Standards of Care, in favour of comprehensive Fundamental Standards of Care, which are described in the consultation. The document includes the DH’s response to questions asked after The New Start consultation, and includes draft regulations, questions on these (Annex B) and questions on the impact of the changes for providers (Annex C). There is also an article in Community Care on the tough enforcement provisions in the consultation. UKHCA members are invited to send their comments on the consultation to firstname.lastname@example.org by 17th March 2014.
More on "Introducing Fundamental Standards"
Announcement posted on: 28 January 2014
HMRC consults on false self-employment
HM Revenue and Customs is consulting on proposed changes to the tax regime to tackle the use of employment businesses and intermediary companies to present employment situations as self-employment. The proposed changes are intended to come into force in April 2014 and, we understand, could significantly increase costs for organisations who seek to “engage” rather than “employ”.
See the article by Anthony Collins Solicitors in January 2014 edition of Homecarer. The deadline to respond to the consultation is 4 February 2014.
Announcement posted on: 24 January 2014
January edition of Homecarer now available for members
The January edition of Homecarer is now available for UKHCA members. In this issue: We consider the real victims of the downturn – those who receive publicly funded care or should do; UKHCA Chair Mike Padgham looks forward to this year's challenges; UKHCA Chief Executive Bridget Warr describes the many areas where we ensure members have a voice; UKHCA Senior Policy Officer Duncan White looks at Clinical Commissioning Groups; Doug Mullen of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP discusses pensions auto-enrolment; we report on the recent consultation on regulation in Wales and our response; Richard Barnes of Towergate Patrick looks at car insurance; we report on the new faces on the UKHCA Board: we include a special feature on our England conference at the Kia Oval; launch our new Tendering and Contracting Q and As Factsheet (available for members to download week commencing 13th January 2014) and include, at the end, a Directory of consultants and suppliers to the homecare sector.
More on "January edition of Homecarer now available for members"
Announcement posted on: 08 January 2014
UKHCA responds to plans for regulatory reform in Wales
UKHCA has responded to Deputy Minister for Social Services Gwenda Thomas's White Paper on plans to strengthen the regulation and inspection of social care in Wales, which was published last year. The proposals included the reform of the care and support legislative framework, including a new National Institute of Care and Support and a move to measuring against outcomes rather than minimum standards. UKHCA Policy Director Colin Angel said: “The consultation was very important for social care in Wales. We studied the proposals carefully, to judge their impact on homecare providers, and responded on behalf of UKHCA members in Wales. We commented on a range of topics, from proposals to adopt an outcomes-based approach to regulation, to plans for fees for regulated providers, drawing on our understanding of the homecare sector, and the particular issues that face providers in Wales.”
The consultation closed on 6 January 2014. UKHCA response. Welsh Government is considering the responses and intend to publish a report in Spring 2014.
More on "UKHCA responds to plans for regulatory reform in Wales"
Announcement posted on: 06 January 2014
Vince Cable launches consultation on zero hours contracts
Business Secretary has launched his expected consultation on zero hours contracts. Interestingly, despite the rhetoric from some quarters to suggest such contracts should be banned, the consultation largely covers the use of exclusivity clauses and the lack of transparency over the terms workers are engaged upon, not whether they are good/bad or should exist at all. In fact the consultation talks favourably of their popularity with some workers and the flexibility they give businesses, following feedback the Government received last summer when it tested opinions from various sectors - UKHCA provided extensive feedback on behalf of the homecare sector.
UKHCA will be considering the consultation in detail, to respond on behalf of members. We would like to get our response in early to ensure it makes maximum impact, so please email us your views to email@example.com by 14th January. We will be emphasising that zero hours contracts our essential for our sector, and good guidance for employers plus clearly worded specimen explanations for workers would be of help.
More on "Vince Cable launches consultation on zero hours contracts"
Announcement posted on: 20 December 2013
Call for examples of dignified, personalised homecare for older people with complex needs
SCIE is producing a DH-funded accredited digital Guide on home care for older people with complex needs. The project, guided by an Advisory Group of service users, carers, providers and commissioners, will draw on published research evidence as well as practice examples. What does the term ‘complex needs’ mean? The Advisory Group could not agree on a single definition, pointing out that someone’s needs will always be unique. The term might, however, be used when providing social care at home for a person who is frail, has a chronic health condition, mental health issues or difficult social circumstances. We want to hear about dignified, personalised home care which empowers older people with complex needs to live fulfilling lives. If you know of an exemplary service, please complete the short questionnaire attached for possible inclusion in the guide (link) which will be published in early summer 2014.
Announcement posted on: 19 December 2013
Properly Funded Homecare - A Key Solution
United Kingdom Homecare Association welcomes the London School of Economics research "Changes in the patterns of social care provision in England: 2005/6 to 2012/13", published today as the Care Bill receives its second reading, and supports the Care and Support Alliance's call for better funding of social care.
UKHCA Chief Executive Bridget Warr said, of LSE findings that show half a million fewer people are receiving care following five years of public sector cuts, "As the numbers of people needing support to live independently grows, the current pattern of squeezing resources and reducing care will reflect progressively badly on Government policy and will attract more and more criticism.
“Funding good care which helps people stay in their own homes is not only a moral responsibility for any civilised society, but is also cost efficient as it extends people’s well-being, reducing admissions to Accident and Emergency, and helps people return home from hospital quicker. The Care Bill gives a real opportunity to address this before it is too late, but it will take some bravery on the part of politicians to take the tough decisions required to re-direct the necessary resources from other budgets.”
For our full response, please see UKHCA Media Release: Properly Funded Homecare - A Key Solution. We are also quoted, with CSA, in today's online edition of The Guardian.
Announcement posted on: 16 December 2013
G8 Dementia Summit
The UK is hosting the G8 Dementia Summit in London on 11 December, which aims to develop co-ordinated global action on dementia. To follow the Summit, see: http://dementiachallenge.dh.gov.uk/category/g8-dementia-summit/ )
Our message to the Summit is that people with dementia can stay living at home for longer, if they are supported by homecare, and avoid crisis admissions to hospital. The Department of Health produced a paper to coincide with the Summit: “Dementia - A state of the nation report on dementia care and support in England”, which is accompanied by the DH’s interactive map. Both are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dementia-care-and-support
For more on the report, see our more detailed news item in the members' area.
Stop press: G8 Dementia Summit Declaration and Communique
Announcement posted on: 10 December 2013
Survey on how providers use research closes on 12th December
Skills for Care would like to find out more about how social care employers use research evidence to run their business and support their staff. The results will be used by Skills for Care to develop support for employers to access and use research evidence more effectively and achieve business objectives . The survey will only take 5-10 minutes to complete and can be accessed through the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/researchevidence. If employers have any questions or require further details about the research, the independent Project Manager, Jamie Buttrick, can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline to complete the survey is 12th December 2013.
Announcement posted on: 09 December 2013
Government Release Autumn Statement
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced the Government's Autumn Statement. The Statement provides an update on the government's plans for the economy. UKHCA are disappointed that social care and wider concerns surrounding funding of the sector was not recognised within the Autumn Statement.
A summary of the key points and a chance to read the Statement in full can be found here:
UKHCA is a proud member of the Care & Support Alliance. This morning a joint letter from members of the Alliance, calling on the Chancellor to invest in social care, was published in The Times. The letter can be read here.
Announcement posted on: 05 December 2013
UKHCA responds to minimum wage compliance concerns
In response to today's report from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) into social care employers’ compliance with NMW Regulations, UKHCA said the ability of the sector to remain compliant with National Minimum Wage requires resolution of the under-resourcing of state-funded social care services once and for all. Downward pressure on contract prices exerted by local councils and a general reduction in the length of visits purchased in recent years have affected many employers’ ability to set pay rates that keep abreast with annual increases in NMW.
UKHCA Chair, Mike Padgham, said: “...While it is essential that employers comply with the law, it is a disgrace that social care is so poorly funded that employers struggle to keep ahead of the Minimum Wage. This is a sad reflection of the low value society places on the social care workforce and the outcomes our vital workforce secure for older and disabled people.”
UKHCA has issued a call to action for Government, HMRC, councils and providers to address this serious issue and today launches a National Minimum Wage Toolkit to help UKHCA members interpret the NMW Regulations and check their compliance, given the complex working patterns in homecare, including travel between visits. UKHCA Media Release.
Announcement posted on: 25 November 2013
Better funding, not a bigger stick, will help minimum wage compliance
We welcome proposals in the Government's response to the Francis Inquiry to give councils statutory guidance requiring they ensure homecare providers to pay travel time, as part of national minimum wage compliance. But the measure may not result in better conditions for the workforce without better funding for social care.
UKHCA Chair Mike Padgham said: "For government and councils to underfund care while wagging a finger at homecare providers will not improve compliance with the law, nor improve the conditions of the social care workforce, so urgently needed." UKHCA press release.
Announcement posted on: 20 November 2013
November edition of Homecarer now available for members
The November edition of Homecarer is now available for UKHCA members. In this issue: We warn that substandard commissioning is jeopardising good homecare; UKHCA Chair Mike Padgham says help is at hand on National Minimum Wage compliance; UKHCA Chief Executive Bridget Warr discusses short visits and mixed messages from Government; Andrew Threlfall of Malinko Home Care Software looks at data security; Faye Rush of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP weighs the pros and cons of zero hours contracts; Andy Brookes of Hazlewoods describes tax incentives; Jenny Roberts discusses the reality of dementia; Emma Kain-Barrett of Towergate Patrick looks at winter planning; we consider CQC plans on regulating adult social care; we look at Welsh plans for care regulation and concerns in Scotland about integration, plus the codes of practice consultation in Northern Ireland; describe our UKHCA Impact Statement for 2012/13 and upcoming National Minimum Wage toolkit; and how to book for our England conference on 26 November.
More on "November edition of Homecarer now available for members"
Announcement posted on: 01 November 2013
Guardian survey finds it's crucial there is enough time to care
Care workers need adequate time to support the older and disabled people is the critical finding of a survey commissioned by The Guardian for the Homecare Hub. The survey found that reductions in public funding and care commissioned by councils had led people receiving services to believe that they were being short-changed, with visits shortened and rushed.
UKHCA Policy Director, Colin Angel, quoted in the article, commented that the findings show there are increasing concerns about care being "shoehorned" into the shortest time possible. He said: "What really matters is that sufficient time is available to provide care by a workforce who are friendly, respectful and caring. Unless the social care system can meet these fundamentals, we should not expect people who use services, or their families, to be satisfied".
Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said he wants CQC "to check whether there has been progress in commissioning for good outcomes or whether they are still just buying short periods of time, which is an unacceptable way to buy homecare."
UKHCA Blog: New findings on Inadequate Homecare by Senior Campaigns Officer Duncan White.
Announcement posted on: 30 October 2013
CQC publishes plans for adult social care regulation
New CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care Andrea Sutcliffe has set out her plans and priorities for the regulation of adult social care in a publication "A Fresh Start for the Regulation and Inspection of Adult Social Care", in advance of a full public consultation in spring 2014. The proposals include awarding ratings to care homes and adult social care services by March 2016 and establishing expert inspection teams involving people with experience of care services. UKHCA has prepared a briefing for members on the proposals, which it has circulated by email alert. CQC's Fresh Start publication
Announcement posted on: 15 October 2013
Homecare: Councils putting human rights at risk
UKHCA, the professional body for homecare providers, strongly endorses today’s findings by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which highlight risks to the dignity and safety of people who use homecare services created by continuing under-funding of care purchased by local councils in England. UKHCA Media Release - full text. See free EHRC seminar for homecare providers above.
Announcement posted on: 08 October 2013
National Minimum Wage in the Homecare Sector
United Kingdom Homecare Association today provided the following summary of issues connected with the payment of National Minimum Wage in the homecare sector. The following highlights some of the complexities around this technical issue for journalists, researchers and other expert commentators. National Minimum Wage in the Homecare Sector.
Announcement posted on: 07 October 2013
15-minute homecare: Justifying the unjustifiable
United Kingdom Homecare Association, the professional association for domiciliary care agencies, today expressed disbelief that the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) claim that “in some cases, 15-minute visits to older people at home are fully justified, and fully adequate”. UKHCA Media Release - full text
UKHCA's Policy Director Colin Angel articulated the homecare sector's concern about the commissioning of short visits for personal care when he was interviewed by national news programmes, including BBC News Channel and Sky News, as were several UKHCA members. The charity Leonard Cheshire Disability's report, Ending 15-Minute Care, is available at: http://www.lcdisability.org/?lid=29356
Announcement posted on: 07 October 2013
Employers urged to consider flu vaccination for health and care staff
Public Health England and others are encouraging health and social care employers in England to risk assess their staff, per the Green Book, and consider flu vaccination to protect vulnerable users (except where unsuitable for individual staff), following similar campaigns in previous years. Employers should see the PHE guidance, particularly Annex A, which also contains a link to information about the children's flu immunisation programme, new this year.
Scottish Government letter on seasonal flu vaccination Seasonal flu information: http://www.nhsinform.co.uk/health-zones/flu.aspx
Public Health Wales: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=457&pid=25480
Management of Seasonal Flu 2013/4 in Northern Ireland: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/hss-md-38-2013-attachment.pdf Flu Aware NI: http://www.fluawareni.info/
Announcement posted on: 04 October 2013
Have your say on the NISCC Codes of Practice for Social Care Workers and Employers
The Northern Ireland Social Care Council is asking social care workers and employers for comments on the NISCC Codes of Practice, which are under review. The NISCC’s online survey at www.niscc.info opens on 4 October and runs until 3 January 2014, and the Council is also running a series of workshops, to enable registrants to give feedback on the accessibility and use of the Codes, as well as on their content. See: http://www.niscc.info/News-347.aspx#2709
Announcement posted on: 01 October 2013
Minimum wage rises today
The National Minimum Wage rises on 1st October 2013 by 12 pence from £6.19 to £6.31 per hour. The rate for 18-to-20-year-olds is going up by 5p to £5.03 an hour, and by 4p to £3.72 for the 16-to-17-year-olds. Employers will have to adjust the rate when younger workers reach an age that triggers a higher rate. The apprentice rate rises by 3p to £2.68 per hour. Athough rarely found in the care sector, where employers provide accommodation that comes out of the employee's wages, it is important to comply with the accommodation offset rules - see www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-accommodation. More from www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates and www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage
Announcement posted on: 01 October 2013
Care Quality Commission fees to rise in 2014?
The Care Quality Commission has asked for views on the fees it will charge registered providers in 2014/15, including a proposal to increase fees by 2.5%. CQC wanted to know how it should differentiate between providers registered at a single location, who can vary considerably in size, with a view to altering bandings from April 2015. The consultation was open until 25 November 2013 with an option to reply online at:
UKHCA sits of CQC's fees advisory panel, and has fed providers' views directly to the Commission, both on the effect of a 2.5% rise, and on ways to differentiate equitably between different sizes of providers in the future. We've also expressed concern that, although social care is almost at full cost recovery, other sectors fall short, leading to a lack of parity at present between the different sectors the CQC regulates.
More on "Care Quality Commission fees to rise in 2014?"
Announcement posted on: 30 September 2013
Strengthening care and support regulation in Wales
Gwenda Thomas, the Deputy Minister for Social Services, published her White Paper on plans to strengthen the regulation and inspection of social care in Wales last year. The proposals include the reform of the care and support legislative framework, including a new National Institute of Care and Support and a move to measuring against outcomes rather than minimum standards. UKHCA Policy Director Colin Angel said: “This consultation is potentially very important for social care in Wales. We have studied the proposals carefully, to judge their impact on homecare providers, and responded on behalf of UKHCA members in Wales. We comment on a range of topics, from proposals to adopt an outcomes-based approach to regulation, to plans for fees for regulated providers.”
The consultation closed on 6 January 2014.
More on "Strengthening care and support regulation in Wales"
Announcement posted on: 30 September 2013