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.

10th May 2017

Where do I start with converting 2 rooms in my home for respite care?

Hi Sheila, I am interested in letting out two rooms of my bungalow for respite care. I have had over 20 years experience in the care industry and worked in various care homes, the community and as a HCA in our local hospital as well as being a foster parent. I have spoken to the CQC but they were not able to help me with the next steps to take. Are you able to give me any pointers? Thank you, Laura

Dear Laura,

Thank you for your question.

If you are going to be providing personal care then you must register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

I am assuming that you live in England, if you live in another part of the UK then all Countries have the own regulator.

You could be providing either a care home or shared lives but if it is respite care then it is likely to be a care home.

What I suggest you do first is go onto the CQC website and read their Scope of Registration publication.

What you are proposing would I believe need to be registered as a care home but you might also like to look at what the document says about "shared lives".

In any case you would need to register if you are providing personal care and the information about registration is of course on the CQC website too.

Registration is complex so if you decide to go ahead then you need to proceed through the various stages of registration and budgeting will be a key part of this so I think you would need to take further advices from various people including the Fire Brigade about what protection they would expect to be in place, insurers to check what the cost of insurance would be and you would also need to look at things such as Health and Safety.

You might also like to speak to your Local Authority to find out what they think of your proposal and whether or not they would be in a position to recommend your service to service users.

I wish you good luck and would be happy to answer further questions once you are clear what the service is going to be.

Best wishes.




I received a very helpful email from Sue Bayes-Williams the day after I met her at a care roadshow I was speaking at Aintree Racecourse. I am very grateful to her and I hope that it will be helpful to many people:

With regard to the question and answer just posted about providing respite in a bungalow. I just wanted to clarify the position regarding Shared Lives.  For many years now it has been the Scheme that registers not the individual carers. We operate a scheme that provides long term support and respite.  I would suggest that a good place to start would be to find out if there is a local scheme and if they do respite and then contact the service for information about becoming an Approved Shared Lives Carer.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

What would you like to ask Sheila?

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.

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