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15th August 2016

Setting Up a New Domiciliary Care Agency

Ever thought you grasped something, you repeat it to other people and then years down the line you find out that it wasn’t quite right?  I have had that experience.  I tend to slightly mispronounce words.  Poker dots instead of polka, tender hooks instead of tenterhooks.  The list goes on (especially around song lyrics). These are minor embarrassments, but if you are faced with the inspectors – you want to ensure your understanding of what is needed is crystal clear.

Who are you?

Before you go any further – make sure you are what you think you are!  The CQC guide Housing with Care is a fantastically useful document, 1. To help you understand registration scope.

Some questions cleared up – whether you are new or need a refresh!

  1. Registration Fees: You do not need to pay a registration fee or an application fee to CQC. An annual fee is required and can be looked up using the Fees Calculator (under community) which is based on the number of locations you will register.
  2. Own Home as an office? You can use your existing house as an office, but you must provide evidence it is suitable. It is worth checking local council guidance and your insurances. Will others be working there too?
  3. How do I keep confidential Information? You can keep confidential information in your office. It needs to be held securely.  You will also need to ensure if you use computers that only those that should, have access to them.  Particularly if you also reside in the home with others.  The Information Commissioners Office may need you to register with them.  There is a simple check list you can undertake to check whether you do.  And helpful information to help you understand data protection requirements.
  4. Do I need a Business Plan? CQC may ask for a business plan, this is not required by law to be in a particular format, but you will need to satisfy CQC that you have the means and insurances to satisfy regulation 13 of the Registration Regulations 2009.
  5. Will I have a site Visit? CQC will undertake a site visit to check the suitability of the ‘office/location’ as well as asking the potential Registered Manager and Nominated Individual questions. Be prepared to explain where staff will have meetings, whether you intend to meet clients or their family on the premises, how you assess fire risk.
  6. When you apply to register, remember that if it is just you, you will have different roles to CQC such as Nominated Individual and Registered Manager. Be clear that you understand the difference.
  7. What can I do in the home? Remember it is a person’s home you are entering. You do not have the right to just change things in their home, you need written informed consent for your service, and ensure you operate within your statement of purpose policies and procedures and insurance.

There is a lot more to be clear on.  Check out the CQC webpages and the QCS start up guide.

Don’t be like me driving my sister to anger as I sing the wrong words to her favourite song yet again… be clear, ask questions. Get things in place!




*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist

Abi has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement Abi has developed a wide and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission. Read more

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