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Councils reply to UKHCA's Commissioning Letters

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.

UKHCA 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 Commissioning Page.

Website to help employers recruit social care workers - Helping employers and careworkers connect 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 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 recruitment processes.

More information, frequently asked questions and the simple registration process for employers can be found at

This information is also a vailable as a Really Simple Syndication feedWelcome

United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd (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.

Review finds commissioning in Wales must change to support those with dementia

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) has found that local authorities and health boards in Wales need to make significant changes to planning and commissioning services for people with dementia. Its report concluded that current arrangements were not sustainable, given projected future demands and financial pressures. Recommendations included better integration, and the development of joint, financially robust plans for commissioning services for people with dementia and carers, including prevention and early intervention services within commissioning strategies, and developing outcomes based commissioning, with contract monitoring and review focusing on the quality of care and outcomes achieved for service users. The review looked at local authority implementation of statutory guidance on commissioning published by the Welsh Government in 2010.

National Review of Commissioning for Social Services in Wales 2014.

Local authority feedback:

Announcement posted on: 16 April 2014


Important CQC consultation on new approach to inspecting and rating care services

The Care Quality Commission has launched an important consultation on its plans for inspecting and rating care and health services in England, including regulated homecare services. It runs until 4 June 2014 and reflects the new approach CQC has developed to inspection over the last six months, with input from representative bodies like UKHCA. The consultation consists of service-specific provider handbooks, plus an overview document for adult social care. Homecare in this instance is included in the term "community", we are informed by CQC. To reply to the consultation or attend a CQC consultative event, see the options under "Get Involved". UKHCA will be preparing a response, so please do send us your views on the proposals to by 16th May, so we can use members' views to inform our response.

Announcement posted on: 11 April 2014


 DBS holding free "duty to refer" events

The Disclosure and Barring Service is holding free, duty to refer events for employers and managers making barring referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service, which will outline the changes to the DBS because of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 - and what hasn’t changed. The events will provide detailed guidance on the duty to refer, submission of referrals and the information required to support a referral to the DBS. Each event lasts around three hours - for details and venues, see the DBS schedule.

Announcement posted on: 07 April 2014


Now is the time to comment on the duty of candour and corporate accountability

The Department of Health has launched two important, short consultations that cover all CQC-registered organisations. The Duty of Candour consultation contains proposals to:
• Follow recommendations made by the Francis Inquiry into deficiencies in the delivery of care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.
• Ensure that people who use services are told when 'significant harm' has happened to them, that mistakes are acknowledged, apologies made, and the results of responsive action shared.
• Introduce a new law (planned for October 2014) that will require organisations to act when something goes wrong.
• This will apply to all organisations who register with CQC, but not staff who provide care.
The Corporate Accountability consultation contains proposals to:
• Make sure that accountability for failures is shared by the organisation and its leaders, not just staff members.
• Introduce a 'fit and proper person test' for directors, to ensure they are fit to do the role required of them.
• Allow CQC to ask an organisation to remove the director if they felt they were not a 'fit and proper person', as shown through the test.
• Encourage organisations to make checks before they give a job to a new director.
• Ensure that directors are 'of good character' and 'have the right skills and experience for the post.'

The deadline for comment is 25th April 2014. UKHCA will be responding and encourages members to submit their own replies. If members would like to send us their thoughts please email and we will use them to shape our response.

Announcement posted on: 04 April 2014


Care Quality Commission announces its fee structure for 2014/15

The Care Quality Commission has announced its fee structure for 2014/15 for services registered with it. The scheme reflects government policy which requires CQC to work towards full cost recovery and has been approved by the Secretary of State for Health. Fee changes are based on current levels of cost recovery, which means:

  • A 1.5% increase for providers of adult social care services, as the sector is at 84% cost recovery
  • No increase for providers of dental services, as the sector is at 100% cost recovery
  • 2.5% for all other types of providers.

Text of CQC announcement and more about fee levels, and how CQC reached its decision on fees.
UKHCA was involved in the Fees Advisory Panel and argued that any fee increase should reflect the fact that social care was almost at full cost recovery.

Announcement posted on: 02 April 2014


Budget 2014

George Osborne presented his Budget today. Among other changes, the fuel duty rise planned for this September will not now happen, and income tax personal allowance will rise from £10,000 to £10,500 in 2015, both changes that will benefit homecare workers. A summary is available on the BBC News website at: and on the Government's official website at: 

Freedom and choice in pensions, HM Treasury's consultation that sets out its radical pension reforms, is available from:

Announcement posted on: 19 March 2014


UKHCA has moved office to Wallington, nearest station Hackbridge

Please be aware that UKHCA has 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.

DBS systems operating and delays being cleared

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has changed its IT system and we understand the new system is up and running, with the backlog of applications for Adult First requests, DBS applications and issuing results being gradually cleared.

The UKHCA Disclosure Service is functioning normally, following our recent office move.

Announcement posted on: 13 March 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


Introducing Fundamental Standards

The Department of Health has conducted a consultation on how it will change Care Quality Commission registration requirements to introduce the Fundamental Standards of Care. The DH explained they have dropped the idea of having both Fundamental and Expected Standards of Care, in favour of comprehensive Fundamental Standards of Care described in the consultation. The document included the DH’s response to questions asked after The New Start consultation, and included draft regulations, questions on these (Annex B) and questions on the impact of the changes for providers (Annex C). There was also an article in Community Care on the tough enforcement provisions in the consultation. UKHCA has issued a response to the consultation on behalf of members.

More on "Introducing Fundamental Standards"

Announcement posted on: 28 January 2014


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