United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

CQC unable to hold councils to account for homecare - 28/04/2014

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), is reported today (The Times, 28th April 2014, note 1) as intending to penalise homecare providers willing to supply short visits of around 15 minutes to people with dementia, in an attempt to put pressure on the local councils who purchase the majority of care.

United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), the representative association for domiciliary care agencies, has repeatedly and publically highlighted the significant purchase of very short visits by local councils who purchase the majority of homecare in England from the private and voluntary sector.

However, reacting to today’s comments from CQC, UKHCA’s Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

“We are disappointed that England’s Chief Inspector is prevented from directly tackling councils which commission care that they themselves admit is inadequate.

“This Government undertook a U-turn in the Care Bill and failed to reinstate CQC’s powers to inspect and report routinely on councils. This means that CQC no longer has the power to hold councils to account for inappropriate care.

“It is helpful that England’s social care regulator is reinforcing UKHCA’s message that inappropriate short visits can be detrimental to people who have homecare. However, we are deeply concerned that CQC is unable to address poor commissioning practices at source by regular inspection of councils.”


Notes for Editors

  1. The Times, Health News, 28 April 2014, “Watchdog outlaws flying care visits”, by Rosemary Bennett and Chris Smythe: [paywall]
  2. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,000 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  3. UKHCA’s mission, as a member-led professional association, is to promote high quality, sustainable care services so that people can continue to live at home and in their local community. We do this by campaigning, and through leadership and support to social care providers.
  4. UKHCA has a vetting procedure for its members, all of whom agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Practice, which can be found at
  5. UKHCA represents 33% of independent and voluntary sector providers in the UK, and estimates that its member organisations employ over 119,000 homecare workers, who deliver over 2.79 million hours of care per week to around 166,000 service users, valued at £1.62 billion per annum.
  6. Homecare encompasses provision of personal care, to people in their own homes. For many, homecare is the alternative of choice for people who would otherwise need to move into residential accommodation.
  7. The majority of homecare is funded by the state (usually by local council social services departments, Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) or Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland). However, homecare services are largely delivered by independent and voluntary sector providers working under contracts with the statutory sector.
  8. Regularly updated statistical information about homecare services in all four UK administrations is available from "An Overview of the UK Domiciliary Care Sector" at
  9. A high resolution royalty-free image is available of Colin Angel, Director of Policy and Campaigns, quoted in this release:
  10. For further information please contact:

Colin Angel, Director of Policy and Campaigns
United Kingdom Homecare Association
Sutton Business Centre
Restmor Way
Telephone: 020 8661 8152
Mobile: 07920 788993

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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