There are over 8,000 domiciliary care agencies in the UK, however, not all of them are CQC-registered. CQC registration can greatly impact the transparency, and more importantly, the quality of care delivered by an agency. Agencies which are not registered often don’t accept any liability when a claim is made against them, nor are they regulated by any external bodies.
Who are the CQC?
The CQC (Care Quality Commission) is a body that regulates care provision in the UK for both care homes and domiciliary care (at home) providers, as well as GP practices, hospitals, and dentists. It conducts inspections to check whether the agencies providing care are ensuring a good quality of service. They have a responsibility to ensure care provision is met to strict standards and that the providers are liable for the care they provide.
The CQC is also an important source of information for those searching for a care provider. All agencies will claim that they provide high-quality care, however, if they are not regulated by external organisations, those claims are often empty.
If one is unhappy with the care that themselves or their loved one has received, they can raise a concern to the CQC, who will then investigate and help the claimant with further steps. Therefore, if you are unhappy with care you have received you will be able to approach an external agency that will take the claim seriously.
Companies that are not registered with the CQC will often not employ their own carers. They may only help their clients with finding a carer and organising payments, but they won’t check on the care the care worker provides, discipline them, train or incentivise them. They also cannot create care plans, therefore their client’s needs will not be assessed by a professional, and they will have to judge themselves how much care and what type of care they need.
Unregistered companies often do not guarantee or provide representation regarding the Professional Carer’s work or reliability. As they are not responsible for determining whether the Professional Carer is qualified or even capable to complete each placement, they do not need to ensure that their clients are receiving care from a professional whose experience matches the client’s needs and health conditions. Therefore, if a person decides to hire a company that is not registered with the CQC, they themselves will be responsible for assuring their personal safety and protection of personal belongings and home. The care agency will not be liable for any injury to the patient or their property, and they are unlikely to suffer consequences in case of negligence.
The CQC requests a record of all the complaints that a care agency has received in the past, to see how the care agency deals with such situations and whether there are any steps that can be implemented to solve the problems or prevent them from happening again in the future.
Essentially, if you are considering using an unregistered agency, you will be entirely at risk of dealing with any issues that arise yourself and the agency will not be liable, as the care provider is not CQC-registered.
How do I find out whether a care agency is CQC-registered?
To find out whether your care provider is CQC-registered you can search for them on the CQC website: http://www.cqc.org.uk/.
All registered companies must have a CQC logo on their website, or a rating if they have been inspected. Therefore, if you do not find the logo on their homepage, they are likely to not be registered.
At Home Instead, we are very proud of our CQC registration as quality, continuity and transparency are the most important aspects of the care we provide. If you are unhappy with your current care provider or are worried about their reliability, please call Home Instead on 01935 577 030 to see how we can help.