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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.

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State of Social Care 2013/14

The Care Quality Commissioning has published its State of Social Care report for 2013/14, which considers the results of its inspections and draws some general conclusions from its regulatory efforts. The CQC said it found much excellent care, but also identified widespread variations in quality. The Commission said safe services occur where effective leadership builds a culture of safety, and by looking at CQC’s reports on outstanding and good care, other services can learn and improve. Homecare providers performed slightly bettter than the previous year, which was encouraging. CQC press release.

More on "State of Social Care 2013/14"

Announcement posted on: 20 October 2014


Should there be scores on providers' doors? Consultation on displaying CQC ratings

The Department of Health have consulted on the proposed duty for health and social care providers in England to display clearly their CQC rating in any location that provides care. Government are of the opinion that these proposals will increase transparency and incentivise providers to improve their quality of service.To read, see: consultation document and its proposals. In reply, we suggested that ratings should be displayed according to universal design and display guidelines, and accompanied by an explanation of what they mean, and how the awarding inspector reached the published judgement. UKHCA's response.

Announcement posted on: 13 October 2014


CQC issues provider handbooks on new ratings system

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued its provider handbooks for community care (which includes homecare) and residential care on 9 October 2014. These are intended to help care providers understand how they will be assessed and rated from now on, as the CQC rolls out its new system to regulate, inspect and rate adult social care in England. UKHCA Policy and Campaigns Director Colin Angel said:

"The quality of social care services must be at the heart of everything social care providers do. CQC are to be commended for the wide-ranging engagement with stakeholders across users, providers and commissioners of social care to develop the new regime. We're pleased to welcome back a system of ratings so the public can make their own choices on care. These were highly valued by social care providers and offer positive recognition for excellence.

"As with any new system, there will be a period of transition, but the new materials produced by CQC should help providers understand and demonstrate what is expected of them. While strongly supportive of the new regime and the considerable efforts made to deliver on-time, we are concerned about the speed of development and whether CQC has yet been able to imbed training with its front-line inspectors in a way which will avoid inconsistent judgements being made about services."
The handbooks are available at:

Announcement posted on: 09 October 2014


Inquiry into public expenditure on health and social care

The House of Commons Health Committee is conducting an inquiry into public expenditure on health and social care. Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Committee, said "... We aim to examine how the financial cake is divided across the NHS and social care as well as how the drivers within the system affect the delivery of care. We will also examine the future funding options for health and social care including international comparisons and the consequences of continuing the current financial squeeze on services for the people who depend on them." The Committee is calling for evidence to be submitted by 24 October 2014. UKHCA is producing a submission on behalf of members. To contribute, please email

Announcement posted on: 07 October 2014


Commissioning and the National Minimum Wage

UKHCA Policy Director Colin Angel gave a presentation on 7 October 2014 to the Independent Care Group conference in York on 'Commissioning and the National Minimum Wage', which members may find of interest. 

Announcement posted on: 07 October 2014


UKHCA’s Minimum Price for Homecare, updated for 2014-15 National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage increases today, Wednesday 1st October 2014. UKHCA publishes Version 2.0 of our Minimum Price for Homecare, which relates to the minimum price that we believe homecare providers should receive from local-authorities and the NHS in order for providers to comply with the National Minimum Wage, and all other legal obligations and running a sustainable service.

This briefing provides all the assumptions used to reach an all-inclusive minimum price of £15.74/hour, and is available from In addition to the increases in National Minimum Wage, the revised price has used an improved method of calculating allowances for workers’ statutory holiday pay.

Details of the new National Minimum Wage can be found at UKHCA publishes a National Minimum Wage Toolkit to help UKHCA’s member organisations interpret the National Minimum Wage Regulations for the complex rostering patterns frequently necessary in homecare services, and offers suggestions on how employers can check their compliance with the Minimum Wage. The Toolkit is available from

UKHCA encourages all councils and statutory sector purchasers to compare the rates they pay for homecare services against UKHCA’s minimum price and enter into open and transparent costing exercises with their local providers. UKHCA’s Costing Model is also available to assist calculating the actual cost of care in a local area and is available from UKHCA recommends that homecare providers to bring UKHCA’s Minimum Price for Homecare to the attention of their local authority and clinical commissioning groups as an item for formal discussion.

A revised version of our Minimum Price for Homecare will be published after the Living Wage and London Living Wage are announced on Monday 3rd November 2014.

Download UKHCA’s Minimum Price for Homecare

Announcement posted on: 01 October 2014


21st Anniversary Adult Safeguarding Conference 2014

Charity Action on Elder Abuse is holding a 21st Anniversary Adult Safeguarding Conference on 17th October 2014 at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations Society Building, 8 All Saints Rd, London, N1 9RL. Sir Mike Richards, CQC Chief Inspector for hospitals and Belinda Schwehr, owner of Care and Health law, are among a varied and interesting line up of speakers addressing current issues in safeguarding. Conference agenda and booking form.

Announcement posted on: 19 September 2014


Alzheimer's Society Commissions Research into Funding Dementia Care

A recent report, 'Dementia UK: second edition', commissioned by the Alzheimer's Society, has found that on average individual service users self fund one third of dementia care, which equates to £21,322 per person per year. The report argues that this is an unfair state of affairs, as cancer or heart condition patients can expect care that is free at the point of use. Research suggests that by 2051 the number of dementia cases will rise by more than one million. UKHCA, who are referenced in the report, welcomes the call for a wider debate of the funding of social care, and for more funding of research into dementia, its causes and treatment. We note that homecare can play a key role in achieving dementia diagnosis and encouraging referrals. Further information and a copy of the report can be found here. A second report 'Dementia 2014: Opportunity for change' identifies five key areas for improvement, including diagnosis and quality of care.

Announcement posted on: 10 September 2014


September edition of Homecarer available for members

The September edition of Homecarer is available for members to download from: : In this issue: We anticipate the start of the new CQC ratings system from October 2014; UKHCA Chief Executive Bridget Warr says homecare should be a political priority; John Turner takes a close look at the Care Act and the ‘New CQC’; Towergate Insurance ask could you cope, if your business was at a standstill? Jonathon Holmes considers data security challenges for health and social care; We report on opportunities to have your say in Northern Ireland;
Consider care standards reform in Scotland and how UKHCA is contributing to implementing reforms in Wales; Look at CQC’s deliberations on covert surveillance; Preview the new market oversight regime for England; Launch new guidance by Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP on competition law; and invite members to our England Conference – The Care Act 2014: aspirations to reality - on 1st December 2014.

Announcement posted on: 03 September 2014


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


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 . 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


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


Low Pay Commission consultation on NMW levels for 2015

The Low Pay Commission has sought 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 launched a public consultation and held a series of visits across the UK to consider National Minimum Wage and other low pay issues, like apprentice rates. The Commission's remit is here and the public consultation closed on 26 September 2014. UKHCA submitted a response on behalf of members, in one of our most important representational activities of the year.

Announcement posted on: 04 July 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


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. We have also submitted a supplementary response, to better reflect a range of views from members.

The Department of Health's covering letter.

Announcement posted on: 06 June 2014


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