To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) what actions the National Care Standards Commission has taken to publicise the need for providers of domiciliary care to be registered with them;
(2) what guidance has been issued by the National Care Standards Commission concerning the types of domiciliary care which are subject to regulation.
The requirement for domiciliary care providers to register with the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) is set out in the Care Standards Act 2000 and the Domiciliary Care Agencies Regulations 2002 (as amended). Primary guidance on the regulation of the domiciliary care sector is set by the Government in regulations and national minimum standards.
The NCSC has undertaken a number of initiatives to publicise guidance on the registration requirements. For example, the NCSC's website www.carestandards. org.uk sets out the requirements for providers to register and gives details of how to obtain hard copies of relevant information. This section also specifically refers to the Domiciliary Care Regulations and the National Minimum Standards governing the sector as well as the regulations concerning fees and frequency of inspections. In addition, application packs for registration as a domiciliary care agency also include guidance on such services subject to regulation.
The NCSC has also arranged meetings and workshops with providers at a national and local level to assist in the registration process and to explain the requirements of regulation. A provider reference group comprising industry leaders has also been established in order to cascade information specifically to the domiciliary care sector. Articles have also been published in the trade press, such as "Caring Times" and "Community Care".
The NCSC continues to work with providers to give guidance throughout the registration process and afterwards.