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Review of home care services

Read the results of our review into the quality of care being provided to people in their own homes.

Home care is a range of care and support programmes that aim to help people live in their own homes and maintain their independence.

The number of people being cared for in their own homes is increasing. This trend is mirrored by the increased percentage of home care services that have registered with us. Sixteen per cent more home care services registered with us in 2011/12 compared to the previous year, and this increased again by six per cent in the first six months of 2012/13.

We inspected 250 services providing care to 26,419 people


How did we carry out the review?

This review began in April 2012 and ran alongside our regular programme of inspections.

We gathered the views of more than 4,600 people
It looked at whether people receiving care at home are treated with dignity and respect, are supported by skilled staff, have choice about their care and benefit from processes that are meant to keep them safe.

During the review we inspected 250 services providing care to 26,419 people.

We wanted to gather as many experiences as possible and gathered the views of more than 4,600 people. This included:

  • visiting 738 people in their own homes.
  • discussing the experiences of 2,742 people, including 274 relatives and friends of people receiving care.
  • analysing the responses of over 1,000 submitted questionnaires and 130 webforms.

Our inspection teams also included Experts by experience (people who have received home care or who have experience of caring for somebody who has). You can read Helen's story to find out more about Experts by experience and their work.

Throughout the review, we found evidence of many services delivering good care. Overall, 74 per cent of 250 services were meeting all five of the national standards we checked.

Read more findings in What worked well?

We have concerns around the continuity of care workers, staff training and appraisals, and late and missed calls.

Read more about What needs to improve?

Services should try to learn from our findings and incorporate them into the way they provide care. This is especially important as the need for good home care is only going to increase.

Read more in Our recommendations.