UKHCA
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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.

UKHCA’s comments on a “Negative Register” for the social care workforce

UKHCA has long supported the registration of social care workers with a statutory regulator as a way to promote public protection and raise the status of the social care workforce. There are currently no active plans for a compulsory registration for careworkers in England. The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has largely discounted a voluntary register and proposed a “negative register” for workers who should be prevented from working. UKHCA has written to HCPC chair and chief executive to highlight the duplication and missed opportunities such a proposal carries.

Members may be interested to read UKHCA's letter to HCPC on registration of the social care workforce.

Announcement posted on: 26 August 2014

 

Nominations now open for Great British Care Shows regional awards

Nominations are now open for the Great British Care Shows 2014 regional awards. The Government have formally pledged their support for the awards. Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support, said: "It's so important for the Government to be a strategic partner in the Great British Care Awards. We hear stories about bad things happening from time to time and sometimes it feels like this is the only thing the media is interested in. I know there is an amazing amount of fantastic care that goes in our country from an enormous number of incredibly dedicated workers."

The awards are open for both homecare and residential care in England. For more information about how to nominate and the deadlines for the different regions, see: http://www.care-awards.co.uk/ 

Nomination form. Great British Care Shows regional awards.
Stop press: There is now a new award category for The Good Nurse Award, see www.care-awards.co.uk/content.php?page=the-good-nurse-award

Announcement posted on: 15 August 2014

 

Do you have a view on the use of zero hours contracts in Northern Ireland?

There is a current public consultation on the use of zero hours contracts in Northern Ireland, following concern across the UK about the alleged misuse of these contracts. The reason for the consultation, and background to the use of zero hours contracts in Northern Ireland, is explained in the statement to the Assembly by the Minister for Employment and Learning.

UKHCA has now prepared a draft response to the consultation, which we propose to send to DELNI at the end of September. Members who would like to comment are invited to email policy@ukhca.co.uk by 15 September 2014. The draft may be subject to further revision, so is for UKHCA members' eyes at the moment.

Announcement posted on: 05 August 2014

 

Consultation on CQC guidance to help services meet new regulations

The Care Quality Commission have launched a consultation on proposed guidance for providers on meeting the new health and social care regulations and how they will use enforcement powers. New regulations setting out fundamental standards of quality and safety were laid before Parliament earlier this month. The full regulations (including a fit and proper person requirement and duty of candour) come into force for all social care and health services in April 2015. The consultation invites responses on the clarity and content of new guidance, designed to help providers meet the requirements of the new regulations. It will lead to the complete replacement, from April 2015, of CQC’s current Guidance about compliance: 'Essential standards of quality and safety' and the 28 ‘outcomes’ that it contains. It will also replace CQC’s current enforcement policy. UKHCA will be submitting a response and welcomes views from members, sent to policy@ukhca.co.uk . We would be grateful for replies by 29 August. CQC also have an online option to respond by 17 October 2014.

More on "Consultation on CQC guidance to help services meet new regulations"

Announcement posted on: 28 July 2014

 

Heatwave advice for care professionals

As the warm weather continues, a reminder that guidance is available for health and social care professionals on caring for those at risk:

Department of Health: Heatwave Plan for England
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (NI): Heatwave Advice
Public Health Wales: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/43924
Safe Summer in Scotland including information for health and social care professionals.

Heat-Health Watch operates a system of alert warnings if high temperatures are expected in England and Wales: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/heathealth/index.html
Met Office forecast for UK regions: UK weather forecast.

Announcement posted on: 21 July 2014

 

Special measures regime will support failing social care providers

United Kingdom Homecare Association welcomes the Secretary of State for Health’s proposals to develop a new regime to deliver rapid improvement in those small number of social care providers in England who fail to meet regulatory requirements. The "special measures" regime, to be operated by the statutory regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), will be developed collaboratively with provider representatives, people who use services and those who support them. UKHCA press release

Announcement posted on: 16 July 2014

 

Fundamental standards coming in from April 2015

The Department of Health recently published a response to replies it received to three consultations on the regulation of health and care providers in England, namely, Introducing fundamental standards, The Duty of Candour and The fit and proper person requirements for directors. The DH response is at: “Requirements for registration with the Care Quality Commission: response to consultations on fundamental standards, the Duty of Candour and the fit and proper persons requirement for directors”. This is accompanied by revised draft regulations -The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. The DH has made a number of changes in response to the consultation, which are outlined in the response document, notably on enforcement and offences created by the new requirements.

Announcement posted on: 15 July 2014

 

Devolution, Democracy and Delivery White Paper – Reforming Local Government

The Welsh Government has launched a White Paper, ‘Reforming Local Government’, setting out its plans for the future of local government in Wales. This includes reducing the number of authorities through mergers from 22 to 12, altering the way councils make decisions, improving their connection with communities and developing the way councils monitor their own performance - changes that are bound to impact on homecare providers with council contracts. The White Paper also responds to the local government parts of the report of the Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery. UKHCA will be considering the consultation to assess the effect on homecare providers. UKHCA members who would like to comment are welcome to send us their views to policy@ukhca.co.uk by 12 September 2014. If members would like to respond direct to the Welsh Government, the consultation closes on 1 October 2014. Government announcement.

Announcement posted on: 09 July 2014

 

Low Pay Commission seeks views on NMW levels for 2015

The Low Pay Commission is seeking views on what level of National Minimum Wage should apply in 2015, so it can advise Government in a report due to be published by the end of February 2015. The Commission has launched a public consultation and will also be holding a series of visits across the UK to consider National Minimum Wage and other low pay issues, like apprentice rates. Locations and dates for this year’s LPC visits programme.

The Commission's remit is here and the public consultation runs until 26 September 2014. UKHCA will be submitting a response on behalf of members, in one of our most important representational activities of the year. We'll send members more news as the response develops. In the meantime, members are welcome to contact us by emailing policy@ukhca.co.uk by 22 August 2014.

Announcement posted on: 04 July 2014

 

New rights to flexible working from 30 June

All employees in England, Scotland and Wales with six months’ continuous service have, from 30 June, new rights to request flexible working. This doesn’t mean that employees have a right to work flexibly - only that they can request it and the employer must ‘consider requests in a reasonable manner’. The ACAS Code of Practice “Handling in a reasonable manner requests to work flexibly” and guide: “The right to request flexible working”, are available from: www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1616 UKHCA members are entitled to human resources advice from our HR helpline, if they would like further advice, call 020 8661 8188, option 4 for referral.

ACAS has also produced a homeworking guide.

Announcement posted on: 30 June 2014

 

July edition of Homecarer available for members

The July 2014 edition of Homecarer is now available for members from: http://www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?ID=445 In this issue we look at the major consultation exercise on regulations and guidance for local authorities on the Care Act; UKHCA Chief Executive Bridget Warr says it’s a time to have your say, and a time to celebrate success; we celebrate the Great British Care Awards with a two page feature; Senior Campaigns Officer Duncan White discusses training for staff on the Care Act; Sheree Green of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP explains deprivation of liberty; Towergate Patrick consider handling a liability claim; Kate Lovett of EDGE Services looks at whether you need two people for moving and handling; Dominic Carter explains how the HMRC approach National Minimum Wage compliance and we launch revised guidance by Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP on the right to cancel in a consumer’s own home.

Announcement posted on: 30 June 2014

 

Majors reforms planned to criminal records disclosure in Northern Ireland

The Justice Bill put before the Northern Ireland Assembly on 16th June 2014 would, if passed, make major changes to criminal records disclosure in Northern Ireland. The Bill contains a number of changes relating to how providers of social care will obtain Access NI information in the future. The Bill is not due to take effect until April 2015, but there are a number of big changes planned, such as the introduction of an online application form, provision of an update service, implementing a single disclosure certificate, handling Police Information and the role of an Independent Monitor, provision of statutory guidance to police and enhanced checks for the self-employed. Further information from Access NI can be found here.

Announcement posted on: 27 June 2014

 

National Care Standards review launched in Scotland

The much anticipated consultation on the National Care Standards has been published on the Scottish Government website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/06/7325 and runs until 17th September. The aim is to streamline the current 23 separate standards and develop quality standards for both health and social care, based on core elements of high quality care common across public services.

The Scottish Government has included a video introduction, and is putting an easy read version on its website. Braille and audio versions are also available and the consultation paper gives details of how to request these. There is an online response facility and survey.

UKHCA will be reviewing the consultation and considering a response. If members would like to send us their views, please email policy@ukhca.co.uk by 29 August 2014.

Announcement posted on: 25 June 2014

 

New national eligibility criteria and national outcomes framework for Wales

Deputy Minister Gwenda Thomas has announced proposals for new national eligibility criteria for social care in Wales that will see the old criteria of low, moderate, significiant and critical levels of care replaced in April 2016. The new model will base decisions on "what matters", what the person wants to be able to do in life and whether they need care and support to do this. A new national outcomes framework to support the change has also been published.

Announcement posted on: 25 June 2014

 

New rules on right to cancel in consumer's home from 13 June 2014

Contracts made in a consumer’s home or place of work are subject to a right to cancel. A new set of regulations, coming into force on 13 June 2014, will (amongst other things) extend this right. David Taylor of Anthony Collins Solicitors explains the key changes and implications of the regulations from the point-of-view of homecare providers in our updated guidance for UKHCA members. Members will need to amend their standard contracts with service users from 13 June 2014, or risk the contract being void and possibly a fine.

We are in the process of updating our standard terms and conditions for the supply of care services, and for careworker recruitment services, and will upload these shortly.

More on "New rules on right to cancel in consumer's home from 13 June 2014"

Announcement posted on: 11 June 2014

 

Care Act 2014 - part one consultation on statutory guidance to councils

The Department of Health sought views on its important and weighty consultation on the regulations and guidance that will underpin part one of the Care Act 2014. The documents related to care and support reforms and provisions which come into effect in April 2015 and to how the care and support system should operate in England in 2015/16. There will be a separate consultation for reforms coming into effect in April 2016 later this year. UKHCA's Policy Team have submitted a response on behalf of members, having taken soundings from members on their views.

The Department of Health's covering letter.

Announcement posted on: 06 June 2014

 

UKHCA's minimum price for homecare (valid until 30th September 2014)

United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) has published 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

 

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