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National report on care praises DoCare as example of good practice

DoCare has been cited as an example of good practice in an independent report on care provision in the UK.

The report, by Baroness Denise Kingsmill and commissioned by the Labour Party, said DoCare showed how things can be done in the care sector, which has been criticised for practices including 15-minute visits to clients and employing staff on zero hours contracts.

The report said Gloucestershire-based DoCare “provides its staff with extensive training, as well as a clear career structure and opportunities for progression”. It added: “Any promotion at DoCare reflects competence and experience in the care sector and comes with a pay increase.”

DoCare operations director Una Mills was invited to the launch of the report at the House of Lords, attended by Baroness Kingsmill, Andy Burnham (Shadow Secretary of State for Health), Liz Kendall (Shadow Minister for Care and Older People) and Labour MP Hazel Blears.

At the launch, Andy Burnham said: “Social care should be considered as the highest calling … there is no solution for the NHS without a solution for social care. We want to reassure people so that they can look forward to a longer life.”

The report will help shape Labour policy in the run-up to next year’s General Election. Commenting on the report, Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband said a Labour government will work with local authorities and care providers to raise standards in the industry and end time-limited 15-minute visits.

One of the report’s central recommendations is that a new Care Charter should be developed by the Care Quality Commission to raise standards and introduce an inspection regime for the commissioning of care by local authorities.

Una said she had been delighted to take part in an initial ‘round table’ discussion about care; Baroness Kingsmill, impressed by the ethos and commitment of Docare, then sent her report team out to DoCare’s Stroud headquarters to interview some of the DoCare team and find out how the company works.

“We were honoured to take part and hope, in some small way, we have made a useful contribution to the national debate,” said Una. “At DoCare we’re not party political, we’re just passionate about providing good quality care for our clients, and a high level of training for our staff. We take a keen interest in what is happening to our sector at both national and local level, because we are committed to ensuring standards and the level of care are raised across the board, and not just for our own staff and clients.

“As for the report’s findings, we would welcome an inspection regime for commissioning care. As a homecare provider, we are scrutinised by the Care Quality Commission, and rightly so; we feel that the local authorities which commission care should be equally scrutinised.”