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.
Government Release Autumn Statement
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, this morning 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 is asking for views on the fees it will charge registered providers in 2014/15, including a proposal to increase fees by 2.5%. The consultation is open until 25 November 2013 and there is an option to reply online at:
https://webdataforms.cqc.org.uk/Checkbox/FeesConsultation201415.aspx UKHCA members are invited to send their views to firstname.lastname@example.org, in addition to replying to CQC online, so we can use these to prepare a response on behalf of members.
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, has published her White Paper on plans to strengthen the regulation and inspection of social care in Wales. 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 Senior Policy Officer Francis McGlone said: “This consultation is potentially very important for social care in Wales. We will need to study the proposals carefully, to judge their impact on homecare providers.”
The consultation closes on 6 January 2014.
More on "Strengthening care and support regulation in Wales"
Announcement posted on: 30 September 2013
Sign up to the Social Care Commitment
Skills for Care have launched The Social Care Commitment - a voluntary agreement, between all parts of the social care sector in England, about workforce quality. It is made up of seven employer statements and seven employee statements. Its primary purpose is to give adult care and support employers the opportunity to make a public statement that will give the general public confidence that they and their families will always be supported by skilled people who treat them with dignity and respect.
UKHCA Senior Policy Officer Francis McGlone said: "Social care employers who sign up to the Commitment gain access to workforce development resources, prove their dedication to improving care and support, and promote their organisation as a quality provider. Once signed-up, employers can use The Social Care Commitment logo, recognition that could help recruitment and retention."
For more information on the Commitment and on how to sign up, see our blog post at http://ukhca.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/ukhca-attend-launch-of-the-social-care-commitment/
Announcement posted on: 11 September 2013
How care providers can help negotiate the maze of personal budgets
Individual service funds remove the stress of budgeting for vulnerable clients, but will require commissioners to trust their providers, says UKHCA Policy Director Colin Angel, writing in The Guardian's Homecare Hub online pages. Colin says individual service funds offer a unique opportunity to do more with less: cutting out unnecessary commissioning work, and concentrating on what really matters to people who use social care services.
More on "How care providers can help negotiate the maze of personal budgets"
Announcement posted on: 09 September 2013
Zero hours contracts - why does homecare use them?
There has been considerable publicity about the use of zero hours contracts in the UK. UKHCA Policy and Campaigns Director Colin Angel explains the reasons why zero hours contracts are used extensively in the homecare sector, namely the current commissioning of homecare services by local authorities, in his new blog.
Announcement posted on: 28 August 2013
Homecare Innovation Challenge
The Department of Health are today launching the Homecare Innovation Challenge in which they hope to gather examples and ideas about delivering excellent homecare.
The Department of Health have partnered with the Guardian Social Care network for the challenge and there is now a homecare hub online. People will be able to contribute ideas and comments through the site, the Guardian will also be sending out a questionnaire at a later date.
The challenge is running until December and we would encourage members to get involved, we will also be working with Department of Health to share ideas and good practice and will keep members informed of opportunities to get involved.
More on "Homecare Innovation Challenge"
Announcement posted on: 03 July 2013