The UK Care System
People up and down the country seem to be finding themselves increasingly interested in the subject of UK company formations, the potential buzz of setting up a social enterprise can be captivating, especially for those a little tired of the mundane 9-5 routine. This is where the UK care system comes to light, a striking opportunity for a business development that’s just a little different to others. It is thought that global healthcare costs are set to increase at an average rate of 5.4 % between 2017 and 2022, this is pretty staggering and the UK is a very real part of this trend. Our care system has been often been said to have reached ‘tipping point’, with a lingering unmet need for adult social care continuing to be a problem. The situation as it stands today brings about a very real need for effective, quality care services across the country. The seemingly growing demand for adult social care services are starting to get many business minded individuals thinking a little more about how to start a care agency.
Starting A Care Agency
The idea of setting up a care agency, whether that be starting a care agency from home or setting up a care home for learning disabilities, is particularly attractive to those with a fairly robust background in all things ‘care provision’. With a substantial level of experience in delivering care such individuals will find it easier to recruit quality staff, deliver effective training and keep on top of industry standards and expectations. There are a number of different ways adult care can be provided, it could be that assisted or independent living services are required either in the home or within some form of supportive housing. In this way, the care that an individual receives is geared towards encouraging independent living and inspiring those in care to reach for goals and ambitions. It could also be that setting up a care agency is focused around providing respite care services, allowing full and part time carers a much needed break from their daily duties. Whatever the focus of the care service, all businesses will first need to undergo CQC registration. The CQC (Care Quality Commision) are the main driving force behind the monitoring, inspection and regulation of health and social care services in the country. Before taking that jump into setting up a new social enterprise, first consider what it takes to make a successful one, and this largely boils down to providing consistently high quality services. Without delivering the very highest quality services across the board it is unlikely new venture in the sector will last, so taking the time to put effective and somewhat stringent rules in place now will certainly be worth the effort later down the line.
Here are some of the key things to consider when setting and defining your service provision according the CQC:
The CQC’s Five Key Questions
When setting up a social enterprise such as a care service, the CQC will ask the following five care service related questions as part of a standard inspection, so it is important to make sure your services stand up to the test:
What ‘Good Service’ Looks Like
Are they safe : protected from any forms of abuse.
Are the effective: achieving good outcomes, helping to maintain quality of life and based on the best available evidence.
Are they caring: treating individuals with kindness, dignity, compassion and respect.
Are they responsive to people’s needs: organised services to meet individual needs.
- Are they well led: management that encourages learning and innovation as well as promoting an open and fair culture.
When thinking about how to start up a care agency, at the top of the agenda should be the ability to provide the highest possible quality of care across all of the services on offer. In line with the five questions detailed earlier, the CQC suggests a number of factors contribute to a ‘good’ quality care home. These include (but are certainly not limited to):
Ensuring care home safety with well maintained equipment, where management ensure all belongings are secure, medications are stored and delivered effectively and ensuring all individuals are safe from any form of abuse or harassment .
Ensuring an effective care home by regularly asking individuals for feedback, keeping staff training and qualifications at an all time high, asking individuals for consent to treatment and that the right food and drink is provided.
Setting up a care home that is ‘caring’ by ensuring staff are aware of individuals’ backgrounds, hopes and needs whilst encouraging expression of personal views, allowing friends and family to visit and providing effective privacy.
Remaining responsive to individuals’ needs through the use of structured care plans and encouraging friends and family to become involved in this where possible, helping people to keep up hobbies and taking any complaints or suggestions for improvement seriously.
Starting a care agency that is well-led through ensuring all individuals are aware of who the manager is at all times. Managers and staff alike should be aware of their responsibilities, including making sure managers are available to support their staff and ensuring all staff have the confidence to report any issues.
Setting up a social enterprise really can bring some very exciting benefits such as the rewarding job satisfaction that comes with helping others. Providing high quality services to those in need of care services is a fantastic thing to do, and the hard work involved in starting a care agency should certainly pay off as long as service quality remains high on the agenda.
Here at PNG Formations, our friendly professional team are highly qualified in all areas of setting up a social enterprise and the wider CQC registration process. Our extensive knowledge in starting a care agency will help save you time and money as we offer extensive support in all areas of company formation, business consultancy and CQC compliance.
Our team understand that each and every business venture is unique and so we strive to carefully sculpt a service to fit individual needs, providing ongoing support as needed. 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.