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

Care Cert for home care agency

As agency providing home care and ad-hoc staff support to care homes, what is the expected criteria we have to meet in line with the care certificate? What measures can we use to assess staff competency? While assessing for competency in people’s homes could be achievable, how do we assess the competency of workers sent to support care homes considering the how busy the home could be and confidentiality and dignity of the service users. – Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth, Thank you for your question. As I wasn't sure of the answer, I contacted Skills for Care who have sent me the following comprehensive answer. 'It would not be possible for...

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Administering medication in a nursing home

What qualifications are needed to administrate medication in a nursing home, does it have to be a registered nurse? – Susan

Dear Susan, A  care home (nursing) employs Registered Nurses and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) "requires each Registered Nurse to be individually accountable for making sure that all medicines are...

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2016 Cap on Care Costs

I am a Home Care Provider of Social Care. I read on the Community Care website that the way that care is funded is set to change in 2016. Will this affect me? – Rita

The Department of Health launched a consultation on 4 February: Care Act 2014: How should we deliver the 2016 to cap care costs and manage appeals? These are the most fundamental...

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DoLS authorisation

I applied for a DoLS authorisation for 6 people living in this care home two months ago. Although I have contacted the Local Authority officer about the applications they have still not been dealt with. I am getting anxious now because I am sure I will be inspected soon by CQC and I don’t know what will happen if I don’t have the authorisation in place. – Mark

Dear Mark, The essential thing is that you have made the application for DoLS authorisation as you are required to by law. Since the Cheshire West Judgement there has been a huge...

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Dementia and DoLS

I have a care home registered to care for people with dementia. I have just had an inspection and the inspector told me that I must look very carefully at whether or not I need to apply for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) authorisation for all of the people I care for. Is this right? – Ellie

Dear Ellie, With regard to DoLS, in March 2014 the Supreme Court handed down a judgement now known as the West Cheshire judgement. This judgement changed the way we had been...

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Care Act

Hi Sheila

Loads of reading done on the new care act.  Is there anything out there – in short version, easy read? A few service users have been asking me for copies.

Looking forward in hearing from you.


Dear Johanna, Thank you for your question. There are, as you know, many different sources of information about the Care Act. I think the best for service users are some of the National...

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Care Certificate

Dear Sheila,

I’ve been hearing some buzz about the new Care Certificate, but my team doesn’t know much about it. What is it and do you have any tips for how to incorporate this new requirement?


Dear Marie, I think that care providers are not as well as informed about the Care Certificate as they might have been because almost all of us have been concentrating on...

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Acceptable registration as a Registered Manager…

Hi Sheila,

I am a holder of a Bachelor of Arts Degree (2:1) in Youth and Community Work and wanted to ask if this would be acceptable for registration as a Registered Manager of a Health and Care Agency which I intend to register. I have undertaken a management module as part of my degree programme. I have worked in intermediate management level over 5 years.


Dear Edward, You have a combination of qualification and experience and I believe that this would be suitable for registration by CQC as a Registered Manager provided your experience has been in...

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Continual rotation of staff …

Is continual rotation of staff (staff moves every 6 months) in care homes good practice? – Georgina

Dear Georgina, In small and medium sized care homes there isn't the opportunity for continual rotation. In larger organisations this may happen but it is a matter for the home's management, there...

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Respite care for wife

My wife is 75 and has MS. Because of the severity of her condition she receives NHS continuing healthcare at home.

I am her principal carer 24/7, with visits from numerous agencies. On inquiry I have arranged in principle for a week’s respite care in a nursing home later this year, and also a weekly break for part of the year.

Is there are written information about this anywhere? It seems odd that I have to ask in order to find this out. Should not someone have told me? What about the people who do not ask?

All the usual carers’ agencies deny knowledge of any written material.

I’d be glad of your comments.

Derrick Shelley

Dear Derrick, Thank you for your question. There is a not for profit organisation called Care Aware. Their email address is They will be able to give you good advice and will...

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