What advice can you give about buying/managing a learning disabilities home? | QCS

What advice can you give about buying/managing a learning disabilities home?

Barry Price
Answered by Barry Price

My response would be ‘How long do you have?’


This is a complete minefield and getting it wrong could have a major impact. So, I am going to try and add a few pointers for you to consider.


Planning: Have you completed any business planning with regards to what you are hoping to achieve? What type of business do you want to own or operate, including the pros and cons of setting up from scratch or buying an existing business? Most importantly, is there a clear need and business case for the service in your area and would it be supported by commissioners? Check out the free QCS Business Plan Template here: Business Plan Template | QCS.


Due Diligence: The most important aspect of buying a service is doing due diligence to the best of your ability. If you are not experienced in this area, it would be advisable to seek the support of a sector specialist who can support you in doing a thorough review on all aspects of the business, including why it’s for sale and its financial status. They can often find any hidden nasties to prevent issues arising later in the process. What implications does buying an existing business have on you such as TUPE? Business transfers, takeovers and TUPE: Overview – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).


Management: Do you have experience of running and or managing a service? Do you have the skills and experience of working with individuals with a learning disability? CQC Regulation 7 applies here and CQC has published guidance on registering as a manager: Apply as a new registered manager – Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk).


Regulation: Do you fully understand the requirements of any current and future planned legislation such as Right Support, Right Care, Right Culture? Have you checked the regulatory history of the service? Is it good? Read the CQC reports and see if you can spot any areas of concern. Check the CQC Guidance here: Services for autistic people and people with a learning disability – Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk).


Take your Time: The best advice I can give is not to rush the process. Gather the information required to enable you to make an informed and secure judgement on your plans. Get a second opinion from a trusted colleague.


Network: There are a number of provider networks in the sector right now. Join them and ask about other experiences. Approach commissioning teams and ask what the current focus and needs are in the area you are looking at.


Hopefully, these few prompts will enable you to consider how you move forward and remember, the right way to do things is rarely the easiest way.

About Barry Price

Specialist in Adults with Learning Disabilities and Complex Needs

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