Care and Support Minister launched a 12 week consultation starting 1st December to find new measures to protect people when their care provider fails.
The government is intending to use the consultation to set up a system of financial checks on larger care companies so early warning signs are spotted.
This highlights things like unsustainability or where quality of care is being compromised for financial gain.
Following the consultation, Norman Lamb announced that the government will be introducing a regulation of major care providers, and if this is failed there will be plans for a well-managed exit.
This is following a year of poor care cases in the media, such as the collapse of Southern Cross which did not have these plans in place, and Winterbourne View, which has highlighted a forgotten area and brought other cases to the surface. As it stands, people assume that when someone is being cared for, they no longer have to be monitored.
These cases have showed the government that they still need to closely monitor care providers and this move shows that there are lessons being learnt from this and preventative measures are being set up to prevent care suffering before a provider struggles.
The consultation will challenge business models of care providers to ensure they will be able to give quality care services, ensure they are prepared for financial distress or problems within the company, so that the service users do not suffer the brunt of this, and ensure communication is open with local authorities so that if the care provider does fail financially, it is not hidden, but together can ensure care and support needs are still foremost.
Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, said:
We want to make sure every person receiving care and support will continue to get the care they need if a provider exits the market, regardless of whether they are paid for by the state, or pay for care themselves.Southern Cross demonstrated that we need greater oversight of providers’ finances and better plans to support people if their independent provider goes out of business.
We want to make sure care providers have plans in place to get their finances back on track and if this is not possible then a co-ordinated exit from the market happens. This means care service users know their needs will continue to be met.
The Department is asking for views on the plans from care providers, service users, investors and others involved in the social care sector, so make sure you give your opinions on this to improve the new scheme.
The legislation will come in to force in April 2015 in the Care and Support Bill, If the proposals are taken forward and approved by Parliament.