MPs call for fast track registration of home care workers

An influential committee of MPs has called on the government to
urgently fast-track domiciliary care workers onto the social care
register, writes Derren Hayes.

The recommendation was one of 40 made by the health select
committee following its investigation into elder abuse.

It said plans not to include domiciliary care workers in the
next wave of professionals to sign up to the register were
“unacceptable” – residential child care workers
and managers of care homes are set to follow social workers onto
the register from next April.

“We are especially concerned that service users may be
placed at risk from day to day contact with unregistered care
workers, a small minority of whom may be abusive working with them
on a one to one, unsupervised basis,” the report said.

The committee also called for the relaxation of entry
requirements to the register for domiciliary care staff so that
completion of a three-day induction course would be sufficient for
initial inclusion, with NVQ level 2 in care obtained by the time
they re-register three years later. However, the Department of
Health believes workers should get NVQ level 2 before being allowed
to register, but said no final decision has been made.

A spokesperson for the General Social Care Council said it was
for the government to decide who would be included in the second
wave of registration, but added that a recent risk assessment of
different social care professionals had identified domiciliary care
workers as a priority group.

Other recommendations:

• To establish a clearer definition of elder abuse and
scale of problem
• Care home residents should have their medication reviewed
every 3 months, with people aged over-75 living at home being
reviewed every 6-12 months
• Care workers to receive training in elder abuse awareness,
and for the register to be opened to care workers employed with
direct payments
• Mandatory requirement for every council to set up
vulnerable adult protection committee
• The government to ensure Protection of Vulnerable Adults
list (PoVA) applies to mental health services in the independent
sector, and for the list to be introduced quickly
• The government to clarify requirements for GPs to check the
cause of death of care home residents.

Full report

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