‘Alarm at 500,000 carers with no training’ – Daily Mail 15/7/19

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1153430/pensioners-oaps-carers-no-training-millions-risk-health

This article presents a shocking revelation to the public.

There have always been people providing care and getting paid for it before the introduction of the National Care Standards Commission and National Care Standards Act in 2001. However, this article expresses a truth that the ‘Regulated’ care sector has known about for years. Yet despite the sectors objections to commissioners, budget holders and Governments by individuals, care sector organisations and organisations like the United Kingdom Home Care Association, this has been allowed to continue unabated.

The UKHCA has tweeted about this news article at

This rise in unregulated carers has been fuelled mainly by the increasing costs of social care which has caused many people to source cheaper alternatives, without any real knowledge of the risks of doing so. It is also fuelled by the introduction of personal budgets which were introduced to allow an individual to have access to a pot of money to purchase care to ‘meet their needs’ with no direction from where to purchase that care. Consequently, there was an increase in unregulated cheaper carers advertising on shop and post office notice boards, in community media and social media etc. An enterprising activity done often in the full knowledge that they didn’t have to adhere to any care regulation.

Many of these carers:

  • have no professional experience of care nor receive training and updates
  • are paid cash in hand not paying tax or national insurance
  • are not DBS checked and have no viable, or need of viable references
  • have no complaints procedure
  • have no care plans or risk assessments
  • are not insured
  • leave their clients with no care when they go on holiday or are sick
  • make no record of the care visit
  • cannot manage medications
  • are not monitored nor supervised
  • are not up-to-date with current best practice

All these things and more contribute to the risk that they place themselves and their clients in.

Because they don’t have to be registered and are not subjected to the same regulatory framework, they are invisible to organisations like the Care Quality Commission and the Health and Safety Executive. Consequently, if they are taking advantage of their position, no one would know.

There are even some cleaning companies that have also included elements of ‘care’ in their services, but again this goes under the radar of statutory bodies.

That becomes a huge safeguarding issue that is not being addressed. And that’s a problem just waiting for the next adverse page 1 headline or TV documentary ‘special’. I have come across cases of abuse by unregulated carers and have reported them to the Police and local Safeguarding Boards directly myself.

Over the years a lot of resources and public funds have been pumped into regulating the care sector and ensuring compliance against regulations, but not just care regulations but also those around health and safety, working time, training, support, employment, statutory entitlements and processes. Companies providing a ‘regulated activity’ must be registered with the CQC. Some organisations have had their registration suspended or removed because of various failings, and yet unregulated paid carers are allowed to work without such adherence to regulations. This flies in the face of compliance, transparency and accountability and leaves clients vulnerable and ‘at risk of harm.’

It also leaves the unregulated carer at significant potential risk, as they have no insurance, no one to ensure their health and safety nor their training and development, no access to entitlements and are open to abuse by the client or their families.

All our carers are thoroughly vetted having had an extensive interview, an enhanced DBS check, three written references, formal NVQ or equivalent qualifications backed up by years of direct care experience, can support their application with evidence of additional care subject training, are supervised and monitored by a qualified and experienced nurse, must complete a six month probationary period completing a range of review and interview processes, receive additional health and clinical training and receive all statutory entitlements and more, all of which contribute to help ensure zero staff turnover and therefor maximum consistency and the best possible concierge care service available to our clients and their families. All focused to help us meet our aim to define the future of private home care.

We hold all our staff to the highest standards and expectations which they must continually meet, and so we provide our carers with the opportunity to work to attain higher qualifications in care at Level 4 or 5, degree level.