The Department of Health is still not ready to order the General Social Care Council to open the register to home care staff, almost two years after it was originally due to take place.
In a statement given to Community Care, the DH said it remained committed to registering domiciliary care staff, in the interests of public protection and staff quality.
But a spokesperson for the department added: “We are currently in discussion with GSCC on how best to achieve this. Work is continuing on the various strands of development needed to take registration of home care workers forward.”
Originally promised in April 2007
Since 2006, when then care services minister Liam Byrne announced the social care register would be opened in stages to residential and domiciliary care staff in April 2007, this has been multiply delayed:-
- In February 2007, Byrne’s successor, Ivan Lewis, said the register would be extended to home care staff alone in late 2007 or early 2008.
- In February 2008, Lewis said he hoped it would happen by “late summer” of that year.
- In September, the DH said discussions were still ongoing with the GSCC, drawing criticism from the United Kingdom Homecare Association and the Social Care Association.
Last November, in an interview with Community Care, outgoing GSCC chair Rodney Brooke described the delay in the registration of home care staff as “a big disappointment”.
The DH spokesperson added that registration needed to be cost effective and based upon the best available evidence, and should not impose an unnecessary burden on the sector.