Local Healthwatch from around the country have recently shared their concerns about the lack of quality assurance and regulation of certain social care services including ‘supported living environments’, day care centres and care support provided in people’s own homes.
We have written to Jon Rouse, Director General from the Department of Health to share concerns raised by local Healthwatch that:
- People using these non-regulated services (including self-funded and personal budget holders) have no means to make an informed choice of service based on quality and have no way of raising concerns about the quality of services they receive.
Safeguarding mechanisms (including under the Care Act 2014) do not always cover these services impacting on the safety of all service users – in particular vulnerable users.
Given the national significance of non CQC regulated and non-local authority contracted services, the increasing use of personal budgets and direct payments, and the gravity of this issue felt by local Healthwatch, we would like to know how the following will be addressed:
The current gap in the scope of regulation that we have identified
The risks that arise from the gap in regulation in the interim.