UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

Kingsmill review – a good start but more realism needed to provide workforce solutions - 16/05/2014

The newly published Kingsmill Review "Taking Care - An independent report into working conditions in the Care Sector" by Labour peer Baroness Denise Kingsmill CBE makes a series of recommendations to combat "exploitation" of care workers. The review, set up last year by Ed Milliband, took evidence widely, including from UKHCA.

Denise Kingsmill highlights familiar issues, like 15 minute calls, the challenge to improve training standards, and the widespread use of zero hours contracts in the care sector. She calls for registration and licensing of the care workforce and for CQC be given a role to ensure providers employ licensed staff, and protect care workers from exploitation. 

 UKHCA Policy Director Colin Angel said:

 "There is much in the review that we would agree with, as an analysis of where we are now, and as a sector would aspire to, for the future. A well trained and valued workforce is essential to provide quality care.

 “However, there is a strong link between what providers receive, in income from council contracts, and their ability to remunerate and train their workforce. Although the proposed Care Charter might help improve local authority commissioning, we wonder if it would give the Care Quality Commission enough clout over councils who pay inadequate hourly rates for care.

 “The review also recommends registration and licensing of care managers and eventually, the whole care workforce, rather than a negative register of those unsuitable to work in care. UKHCA has consistently supported the registration of the homecare workforce as a recognition of the skills and experience within our sector. Our one proviso has been that the cost of registration schemes must not damage recruitment and will need to be borne by the customer. With the public purse empty, where are the funds to pay for this level of professional regulation?
 
“Although the review is useful in its analysis of the issues facing the care workforce today, some of its solutions are unaffordable and would not translate into practical solutions and more funding for social care. Providers should also note that this is a proposal from the Labour Party, and not Government policy.”

Ends.

Notes for Editors

  1. Kingsmill Review "Taking Care - An independent report into working conditions in the Care Sector", by Baroness Denise Kingsmill CBE.
  2. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,100 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 www.ukhca.co.uk/codeofpractice.aspx.
  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 www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?id=109.
  9. A high resolution royalty-free image of Colin Angel, Director of Policy and Campaigns, quoted in this release is available:
    http://www.ukhca.co.uk/images/highres/ColinSmiling01.jpg
  10. For further information please contact:

Colin Angel, Director of Policy and Campaigns
United Kingdom Homecare Association
Sutton Business Centre
Restmor Way
Wallington
SM6 7AH

Telephone: 020 8661 8188
Mobile: 07920 788993
E-mail: media@ukhca.co.uk
Website: www.ukhca.co.uk

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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