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

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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Reports on serious failures…

I am currently doing a management qualification in care. Where can I find government reports, inquiries or research into serious failures to protect individuals who receive home care. or with inadequate risk management plans?

Dear Mick, The first and most obvious place to look is the Care Quality Commission website. If you look through their backlog of press releases you will find links to their...

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Change in key staff…

If care in a persons own home is significantly reduced because of a change in key staff-a new culture, and the registered manager lives abroad should they make representations to the commissioner of the care or the registered manager?

Your question appears to be about the commissioning of services by a local authority. If that is the case and the Council is paying and the recipient wishes to appeal a...

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How do I determine staffing levels?

How do I find the correct staffing level for 23 clients, 5 with full hoisting needs nursing care. 10 full personal care?

There is no set method of calculating staffing levels for nursing homes but you need to have a method and stick to it. You also need to record in detail...

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PIR: Good practice or accreditation schemes/initiatives/networks

I have been asked to complete my Provider Information Return (PIR) and am concerned about the type of information required by this question.

 Please list any good practice or accreditation schemes/initiatives/networks you are currently a member of?

I believe that this is a key question and you can use it to demonstrate your commitment to quality. In my experience care providers are usually poor at "blowing their own...

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What happens when a resident under dies under Deprivation of Liberty

Dear Sheila,   I met another home owner the other day and she told me that if a resident dies in the home and there is a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards authorisation in place  I haver to inform the Coroner if the person dies. Is this correct?

Yes it is. This is something that is just being clarified. The law requires that if someone is "detained" then their death has to be reported to the Coroner. So if...

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The Mum Test

I have been looking at the papers recently published by the Care Quality Commission and there are many references to the Mum Test. What is the Mum Test?

You are right there are a number of references in the recently published CQC documents to the Mum Test. I had a quick look at the CQC website and found this...

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When will the new ratings system start?

When will the new ratings system start?

It has already started. All the care providers that were part of the second wave of pilots will have already received a rating and those ratings will be published shortly. The...

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