Berry hints at direct payment extension

People employed by users of direct payments will have to register with the General Social Care Council in future, its chief executive has suggested.

Lynne Berry (pictured) told the National Homecare Council conference that “the world was moving towards” regulating people who work for direct payment users, to protect service users from abuse, despite concerns this could compromise their independence.

The GSCC is consulting on extending the register to direct payment employees.

Berry also said care services minister Ivan Lewis was still considering the resources needed to register residential and home care staff from 2007, and had not given the go ahead to GSCC proposals on implementation.

She said: “We think we can register 200,000 to 300,000 a year, but that depends on the resources ministers are prepared to give. That’s why we are still waiting for the minister’s go-ahead.” She expects an answer within weeks.

Meanwhile, social workers in England have backed the GSCC’s registration process but have suggestions on how it can be improved.

A report for the workforce regulator identified problems with the registration of social workers who qualified overseas, with 70 per cent saying they did not know what to do to start registration.

Respondents said the GSCC should provide more assistance to international workers.

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