The Department of Health has published draft standards and
regulations for home care services in England.
New benchmarks required under the Care Standards Act 2000 will
form the basis for inspection by the National Care Standards
The commission, which begins its work in April next year, will
inspect all domiciliary care agencies annually.
Agencies will be given notice if they are not meeting the
standards, and if they persist in a breach then they will be
There are approximately 185,000 home care workers, most of which
are part-time and from the independent sector. Local authorities
purchase 79 per cent of the care.
Health minister Jacqui Smith said: “We want to help people
remain independent for as long as possible and recognise that the
domiciliary health care sector has an important role to play in
doing this, but we need to ensure that the services these people
experience are of a proper standard.”
* The draft standards and consultation document are available
Responses to the consultation must be received by the end of
January next year.