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14th May 2016

Feeling the squeeze

With Social Care feeling the financial squeeze, Abi looks at some useful tips to reduce your outgoings.

I’m sure many of you have heard some interesting advice on how to cut back on spending. Have you heard the one about cutting your hair so you use less shampoo? Sometimes the advice can seem ridiculous, and probably wouldn’t have that great of an effect anyway.

As I write, I know in my mind that there is nothing I can say that will radically reduce the financial pressures on services, but I have nothing but admiration for your ongoing commitment to provide quality care and hopefully the following will give some useful tips which might help a little.

Don’t give CQC money for nothing - Ensure your registration is correct

Your certificate of registration will hold the information you need to check.

Whilst working for CQC, I came across circumstances where providers had overlooked changes to their service having an impact on their registration details, and therefore the fees charged:

  1. Bed numbers: If you are providing the regulated activity of accommodation for persons requiring nursing or personal care, check that you are registered for the correct number of people. CQC have thresholds for numbers. For example, the annual difference in fees for 2016/17 between having 10 residences and 11 is over £800.
  2. Swift removal of locations that are no longer operational. CQC registration inspectors should ask you whether there is a location you are removing if you have applied to add one.  If you are a domiciliary care agency, this could be more often than other services.  Make sure that you not only notify CQC of a change of address, but also apply to remove and add locations otherwise you will receive a bill for the new one, and no rebate.  For more information: CQC fees 2016/17 and CQC Changes to registration.
  3. Ensure managers make an application to register as Manager with CQC when ready. Remember there is a fixed penalty for not having a registered manager in post of £4000 if your service type requires (which is different from employing a manager). If you are fined, and an application has been sent, tell CQC you have an application with them.

Tap into other people’s free resources and ideas

They won’t always fit – but every now and then a gem appears to inspire you, your staff, and help the people you support.

  1. Some of these are free resource on certain areas such as signing up for The Social Care Commitment - Committing to quality care, you are supported with a dashboard and development plan and mapping document which links to the KLOES to map your progress.
  2. Pod Casts such as TED Talks may not be your sector but inspirational.
  3. SCIE have useful resources and July will host coproduction week – a chance to highlight and learn from others.


On a totally different note, I have been working recently with the children on a local estate to ‘upcycle’ to save money. Using bottles and tins, tablecloths and duct tape to invent something useful, beautiful and lasting for very little cost …I am sure you know the feeling!

Abi Spence – QCS Registration and Inspection Expert Contributor

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