Families would be freer to purchase unregulated domiciliary care services on behalf of loved-ones who hold personal budgets under government plans issued today to cut red tape.
Carers, parents and independent user trusts (IUTs) would no longer have to use domiciliary care services registered with the Care Quality Commission when buying care on behalf of children or adults with personal budgets. IUTs manage the care of people who lack capacity to do so themselves.
In a consultation document on reviewing regulations, published today, the Department of Health said: “We are concerned that the burden on these providers is likely to have an adverse effect on the provision of care because of the financial costs and the additional bureaucracy which outweighs the assurance of safety provided by regulation.”
Under the plans, individuals providing care purchased by carers, parents or IUTs, without the involvement of a domiciliary care agency, would not need to register with the CQC. Also, parents, carers or IUTs acting as employers of carers for personal budget holders would not need to register with the CQC themselves.
The CQC has estimated that removing existing requirements would take several thousand individuals out of the scope of registration.
Colin Angel, head of policy and communication at the United Kingdom Homecare Association, which represents domiciliary care agencies, said the change made sense as the “burden of regulation had a disadvantageous impact on the individuals affected”.
However, the measures could put some vulnerable people at increased risk, said Deborah Kitson, chief executive of the Ann Craft Trust, which works to protect people with learning disabilities against abuse.
While she accepted the need to reduce bureuacracy for families, she warned: “We know that there are perpetrators who will be willing and able to do some caring if it gets them near vulnerable adults or children.”
The consultation is open until 7 October.
Is this a sensible removal of a regulatory burden or does it risk safeguarding issues? Have your say on CareSpace.
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