Ask Sheila England

Sheila will try to answer as many of your English Social Care questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.

Sheila Scott OBE from National Care Association (NCA). Care is Sheila’s life; she possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business and as a leader in the care sector.

Sheila will try to answer as many of your questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.

Please note that Sheila can not offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. If your matter concerns a specific service provider, please contact the CQC.

Latest Questions

Who determines when a care home can come out of lockdown?

Does it depend on each care home when and how they come out of lockdown?

Thank you for your question. I know this is such a challenging area for care homes. There is no guidance from the Government on this at the moment although it...

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What kind of insurance do I need as a Domiciliary Care Worker?

 I do domiciliary care work but I do not take any clients shopping currently. Do I need business insurance or am I covered by my employer?

Dear M, Thank you for your question. If you are working for a provider who is regulated by CQC, Care Inspectorate in Wales OR Care Inspectorate Scotland, your employer will...

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Can an activity person cut hair?

I work in a nursing home. Can an activity person cut a resident’s hair? We used to have a qualified hairdresser do this

Thank you for your question. COVID-19 has resulted in many challenges and the inability to get a haircut is an issue that many people are facing. As to whether an...

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Should DoLs come into play for a potentially violent service user?

We have a gentleman who accesses a day time opportunity in a horticulture setting from 9 to 4 and then returns home. Lately, behaviours have come to light that he will attack staff and run out of the cabin that he uses into the garden part of the service where there are tools which he has used to chase and throw at staff.  I, as the area manager for the service, have been asked if we can lock the door to stop the person coming out and also lock the windows because he had also climbed out of the window. We have approached the Social Worker for guidance and have been told DoLs does not come into this scenario as the Mental Capacity Act would come into play regarding making decisions in his best interest.  Am I right to be wary of this? advice.

Dear P Thank you for your email. This is a risk. There are some areas I would suggest you look at. You say you have approached the social worker for guidance...

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Is it appropriate for the daughter of a resident to be employed as a carer in the same care home?

I work in a care home which has recently employed the daughter of one of the residents as a carer. This is making staff uncomfortable as the daughter is checking up that staff have attended her mother’s call bell and asks what she wanted, etc. She is also speaking to her mother about the job and other residents and carers which is often inappropriate. Is there any specific legal reason why this should be happening? The company won’t allow members of the same family to work as carers in the same scheme and this seems like a far greater conflict of interest.

Thank you for your question and it’s an issue that arises quite frequently. There may be some arrangement that you are unaware of that was set up when the service...

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Do I need to be accredited to provide my Care Certificate training to staff?

I own a Domiciliary care agency and I am also the Manager. I wanted to ask, in regards with Care Certificate training, if I would want to deliver the training myself, would I need to be accredited to do so? Especially during the COVID, training providers are closed and are doing e-learning which I don’t feel content with.

Thank you for your email. Training during COVID is a hot topic, particularly for domiciliary care.  Registered managers are responsible for signing off the Care Certificate, an RM must be...

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As a self-employed carer, do I need to register with the CQC?

I work as a private self-employed carer with a national platform care agency that is not registered with the CQC. I provide personal care. As a private carer, do I need to be personally registered with the CQC?

Hi, Private self-employed carers referred to as Personal Assistants by CQC who are directly employed by an individual, or related third party, and self-employed PAs with an agreement to work directly...

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Do I need to be a trained nurse to be the Registered Manager for a Nursing Home?

I am at present the Registered manager of a residential home and the provider is looking at putting an extension for nursing care residents. As I am not a trained nurse, will I qualify to run both the residential home and the nursing home together? Or we will have to employ another registered manager?

Dear C You do not need to be a Registered Nurse to manage a Nursing Home  as you will see when you look at There does however need to be the management...

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Is it safe to prop open a fire door?

I’m just wanting something clarifying if you could please. I’m working in a nursing home and am doing a 1-2-1 with a resident. She is in isolation so therefore in her room all the times at present. Her bedroom door is a fire door, but as I am with her for 12 hours I prop it open. I have been told before by somebody in fire safety that it is not a problem having open as long as you are in the room, but to close it should you leave the room. I can’t find any information at all regarding this so your help would be appreciated.

Thank you for your question. Fire doors should be closed at all times unless certified fire door retainers have been fitted. Fire door retainers hold fire doors open until a fire alarm is set off, closing it once the alarm...

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How do we get care packages from the council?

I own a domiciliary care agency, it’s registered with QCS and with CQC, but I don’t know how to get care packages from the council. I have written to my local councils regarding my business and interest but to date, nothing has come through.  Can you can sign-post me to an agency that can help?

Thank you for your question. You say you have written to the council and have had no response which must be frustrating for you. I would suggest you speak to...

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