The provision of home care services has grown significantly over the past few years. The number of home care services registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) increased by 16% in 2011/12, and a further 6% in the first six months of 2012/13. Home care, like a number of other community-based services, presents a significant challenge in terms of gathering the views of people who use services. It is delivered in people’s own homes behind closed doors to people who are often in vulnerable circumstances, but the care provided is harder to observe. CQC’s themed inspection programme of home care services in England reports in detail on the quality of care delivered to people in their own homes by regulated providers.
Overall, 74% (184 out of 250) of services inspected met all five care standards. However, where failings were identified, a minority of people were affected by issues that were very familiar to both providers and people using services. The report highlights and makes recommendations on the following:
- Late and missed visits.
- Lack of consistency of care workers.
- Lack of support for staff to carry out their work, and failure to address the ongoing issues around travel time.
- Poor care planning and a lack of regular review.
- Staff understanding of their safeguarding and whistleblowing responsibilities.