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How To Start A Care Agency: Top Tips

21st December 2018

If you’re a business minded individual with a burning desire to make the world a better place then you might have been thinking about how to start a care agency. Setting up a social enterprise, whether that be a domiciliary care agency or home care agency can be one of the most rewarding career moves of your working life.

Why Think About Setting Up A Social Enterprise?

For anyone who’s sick of working for a terrible boss and dreams of going it alone, the journey to self employment may well be attractive but it isn’t all plain sailing. There are a lot of positives and negatives to weigh up, but one of the most important things to consider is the market you are hoping to conquer. The benefit of setting up a care agency means you’ll be operating in a marketplace desperately in need of your services. There will always be competition but a good domiciliary care agency start up, if planned properly and set up with CQC registration, should have a pretty good chance at success simply due to demand.

The delivery of care in the UK is huge, with approximately 517,000 adults receiving state funded homecare and 527,000 adults receiving help from social services. The need for domiciliary care is on the rise, with one study suggesting that demand for care home places will increase by over three quarters in the next 20 years. There are a number of reasons for this, one being the lack of available domiciliary and care homes to meet an ageing UK population, where many local authorities can expect around 25% of their population to be aged 65 or over.

Setting Up A Care Agency For The Better

Gone are the days of social isolation and idling days away in front of a television, the opportunities to make the lives of those in residential care the best they can possibly be really are endless. From setting up social activities such as the ‘gents club’ seen in Laughton, or  facilitating a pen pal scheme between residents and local primary school children as successfully demonstrated by a care home in Wales. Whilst these efforts may seem small in scale, its the heart-felt initiative of those setting up a social enterprise such as a care home that can make the world of difference to those in need of a little help.

Devising A Domiciliary Care Agency Plan

Around 84% of UK homecare providers are in the private and voluntary sector and so if you’ve been thinking about how to start up a care agency, rest assured your business is the norm in the sector, with the majority seeking out private care. Starting a care agency from home, like all good things, starts with a plan.

One of the first steps is to ensure you are legally set up to take on the responsibilities of  a domiciliary care agency start up. Obtaining CQC registration (Care Quality Commision) is an absolute necessity for anyone setting up a care home in England. It is a legal requirement under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and is there to ensure compliance with essential quality standards across the sector. If you’re not based in England it’s worth noting that CQC registration holds equal weight to the SCSWIS in Scotland and CSSIW in Wales.

Are You Qualified?

If you’re on the journey to setting up a social enterprise, the CQC require that “care providers show that they are complying with the relevant regulations covering staff competence and training”. In short, not everyone can go about setting up a care agency nor can they work in the environment if they happen to fancy a change in career. Any member of staff, at whatever level, must have completed the Common Induction Standards (CIS) within 12 weeks of starting employment.

Designate A Registered Manager

When completing the CQC registration you will come across the need for a ‘registered manager’, a person who plays a very important role in the setting up a social enterprise and beyond. Because of its importance, the CQC will be scrutinising your choice of person for the job to ensure they have all of the relevant qualifications (such as a Level 5 Diploma) and experience needed to take on the role. So take the time to get it right.

Allocate a Responsible Individual

If you’re setting up a care agency, much like a registered manager, you will also need to allocate a responsible individual in order to successfully pass the CQC registration and go forth to create a blossoming care business. Same rules apply in terms of qualification needed, but the responsible individual may not need to provide care as such, their role will be more tailored to a more generally overseeing the running of your care agency or business. Sometimes the registered manager and responsible individual can be the same person, especially as there can be cross over between the two. If you’re setting up a social enterprise and need extra guidance on recruiting these role please see the Skills for Care website.

Funding and Employing Staff

You probably won’t get too far in setting up a social enterprise without the funding stream to make it successful, and can prove problematic for domiciliary care agency start ups. If you notice a funding stream has been advertised that you would like to apply for, you’ll need to register your interest. You’ll then receive a Pre Qualification Questionnaire where you’ll be asked to provide a range of supporting information,  and from there you’ll know whether you’ve been shortlisted.
Starting a care agency is pretty difficult without the employees to carry out the fantastic care services you are hoping to offer.  You’ll need trustworth, qualified staff to really hit your domiciliary care agency off the ground, and with some time and effort it should’nt be too hard to find them. But if you do need a little extra help, take a look at the Department of Innovation, Business and Skills site as well as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

CQC Registration With PNG

Here at PNG Formations, our highly qualified team are ready and waiting to help guide you through every step of the CQC registration process. Our extensive knowledge on CQC registration will help to save you time and money as we offer extensive support in the areas of business consulting, company formation and CQC compliance. We also understand that each and every business venture is unique and so carefully sculpt a service to fit your needs, providing ongoing support throughout the entire process. If you would like a little extra guidance on the CQC process,  please see our guide to CQC Registration. For more information on the support packages PNG Formations can offer you, please take a look at our CQC registration packages

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