The General Social Care Council has renewed its case for registering domiciliary care staff in England ahead of this evening’s damning Panorama programme on home care services.
Though the Department of Health remains committed to extending registration to home care workers, this has been repeatedly delayed since an original implementation target of April 2007.
Last November, just before he stepped down as GSCC chair, Rodney Brooke said the delay to home care registration was a “big disappointment”.
A GSCC spokesperson said today: “We think this will bring real benefits to people who use services, improving the quality of care they receive and protecting them from unsuitable workers.
“We also think regulation is of great benefit for those working in home care. By registering, home care workers will get better recognition for the valuable work they do. They will also be required to undertake relevant training and gain qualifications over time which will boost their employability.”
The GSCC said this would be supported by moves to place its code of practice for employers on a statutory footing, as recommended by Lord Laming in his review of child protection, published last month.
Will compel employers
The spokesperson added: “It will compel employers to ensure proper pre-recruitment checks, to provide training and support and to protect their workers from discriminatory or dangerous behaviour.”
The government has accepted all of Laming’s recommendations and will respond in detail shortly.
Unison demands council control
Meanwhile, Unison has used this evening’s Panorama programme to call for all domiciliary care services, most of which are provided in the independent sector, to be brought back under council control.
General secretary Dave Prentis: “Widespread privatisation has left councils with no control over the quality of home care for the elderly. Many large care providers have cut training and visit times, leaving staff without enough time to do the job properly.
“It’s a disgrace that these companies should get away with making profits out of council taxpayers’ money, whilst leaving vulnerable elderly people without the care they need.”
However, the United Kingdom Homecare Association has warned that providers are constrained by the amount of money paid by councils in contracts.