The number of people being cared for in their own homes is increasing and this trend is set to continue well into the future. As a consequence, the provision of home care services has grown significantly over the past few years. The number of home care services registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) increased by 16% in 2011/12, and a further 6% in the first six months of 2012/13.
This themed inspection programme of home care services in England reports in detail on the quality of care delivered to people in their own homes by regulated providers.
This programme also gave CQC an important opportunity to test and develop different ways of capturing the views of people who use services, as well as those of their carers and relatives. The analysis and findings of the inspections, and the methods used, will help to shape the way the Commission carries out future inspections of home care services, including those for people with mental health needs and learning disabilities.
The Commission inspected 250 home care agencies, consisting of 208 privately owned agency services, 22 council owned and 20 owned by voluntary organisations. The number of people cared for in each of the services varied from the ‘micro’ providers providing services to fewer than five people to the large providers, caring for more than 200 people. The largest service was caring for 700 people.