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A Voluntary Care Register for England

Mark Topps, Social Care Thought Leader and Co founder of The Caring View

Mark Topps, Social Care Thought Leader and Co founder of The Caring View and Liz Blacklock, En (G) RN, Owner/ Director of Domiciliary care provision in Hampshire,  CEO(V) NACAS

A care register is a central database of care Professionals who have been approved to work within the sector. England is the only country in the United Kingdom to not have one, however The National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS, www.nacas.co.uk), has long voiced the need for a register in England.

In 2021, The Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM, www.ihm.org.uk) released its People Plan White Paper, with one of its recommendations being the creation of a care register in England.

In 2022, NACAS, IHSCM and other stakeholders, including people who use care services, came together to create a steering group and discuss how a care register could be created. A number met with local MPs, Peers the government and the care regulator, The Care Quality Commission, however, it is not on the cards to be mandated. The group felt that despite the lack of government and regulator priority, there was a need for a register, and a national survey was opened.

This survey established that:

  • 94% of Service users and 92% of Care managers all responded favourably to the prospect of a Care Register
  • 66% of managers and 71% of Care Professionals believe that being registered should be a condition of employment.

The steering group evolved and is made up of people in favour and opposed to a care register. The group felt a balanced viewpoint was essential to ensure the set-up was scrutinised and no stone was left unturned.

Members of this steering group spoke at several events in 2022, including the Care Show in October 2022, where they informed delegates of the plan, shared early insights to the national survey and utilised the further feedback to improve the register.

Liz Blacklock, En (G) RN, Owner/ Director of Domiciliary care provision in Hampshire CEO(V) NACAS

We know from speaking to our colleagues in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales that England will benefit from a care register for several reasons. For Care Professionals, it will provide a clear pathway for career development, increase the recognition and professionalisation of the role, and create a central platform for care Professionals to share experiences and knowledge.

For those receiving care, it will provide greater confidence in the care they receive as they know that they are being cared for by individuals who have been properly trained and vetted as the register would identify those who are unqualified or who have a history of misconduct.

We recognise that there are concerns that the register might lead to a reduction in the workforce if individuals are unable or unwilling to meet the required standards. By having people who are opposed to the care register, and those who are sat on the fence in the steering group we have really been able to ensure these conversations have been had, and these factors considered. This means that we will have a register that is fair and accessible, with appropriate support for those who wish to register or may want to know any more information.

We now are delighted to announce that the first ‘Voluntary Care Register’ in England is being created, we are diligently dedicating ourselves to wrapping up the remaining vital details so that it can launched as a pilot project.

The Register will be:

  • Self-regulatory
  • Values Based

And importantly in the current economic climate:

  • FREE to register (while it remains a voluntary activity)

Those who register shall be able to describe themselves as:

Registered Care Professional (V)

In the interim, please visit www.vcpr.co.uk for more information. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please contact; enquiries@VCPR.co.uk

Please #jointheconversationvcpr by chatting to us on social media and ‘spreading the word’. We are excited and remain committed to ensuring the register is brought to life

 

Kirsty

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