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What new laws will mean to those living in care and care agencies

Professional deputies, such as the Irwin Mitchell Trust Corporation, often employ case managers to ensure that the needs of their clients are being met. 

The industry is striving to achieve a registered profession status in the future to safeguard people who use case management services, by setting and upholding standards for registered case managers. 

When selecting a case manager for clients, the deputy should now consider whether that case manager will be required to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Why has this been introduced?

The law requiring care agencies and independent case managers to register with the CQC is being introduced to protect people who need care in their own homes. This includes domiciliary care agencies (home care), extra care housing, shared lives scheme; and/or supported living. This is to ensure that all registered providers are subject to a system of monitoring and ongoing inspection to guarantee that standards are being maintained.

The influence of The British Association of Brain Injury Case Managers

The British Association of Brain Injury Case Managers (BABICM) was established in 1996 to develop best practice in brain injury case management. 

BABICM is a key forum for developing policy regarding the needs of people with brain injury and complex conditions. BABICM’s influence is market leading, and it recently advised in its “Best Practice Guidance: CQC Registration” that a case manager providing a service involving a “regulated activity” should be registered with the CQC.

What is a "regulated activity" and what is the guidance? 

A “regulated activity” involves the provision or supervision of personal care, or the treatment of disease, disorder or injury. Personal Care defined by the CQC is a regulated activity which involves supporting people in their homes (or where they're living at the time) with things like washing, bathing and getting dressed.

A deputy should rely on CQC guidance to assist in determining what level of case management involvement will fall within the above named categories, and therefore require CQC registration. 

The CQC sets out guidance in “Registration under the Health and Social Care Act: Personal Care: Ongoing Direction and Control of the Service”. This guidance identifies the following aspects of personal care where a deputy should ensure that a clients’ case manager is CQC registered:

  • Monitoring the service provided to client; replacing members of the care team by organising cover for sickness or leave;
  • Seeking client or representative views to any changes to the care team;
  • Arranging a rota of the care team suited to the clients’ needs; and
  • Charging the client for the service being provided by the care worker(s)

These roles are all examples of what we routinely expect a case manager to carry out for our vulnerable clients with a professional deputyship at Irwin Mitchell.

The future for case management regulation

The industry is striving to achieve a chartered status in the future. Since 2010 members of BABICM, Case Management Society UK and Vocational Rehabilitation Association have been progressing the development of a professional body for case managers, working together to create a professional pathway for case managers in the UK. The group collated evidence supporting the need for a professional pathway involving an educational framework and it was agreed that partnership between the three case management membership organisations would be the most effective way to implement it.

It was decided that PSA (Professional Standards Authority) would be the most suitable accreditation for the educational pathway and the Institute of Registered Case Managers is envisaged to regulate the profession.

But what now?

The provision of case management services is not currently regulated. Whilst those steps are being taken, it is important to ensure the highest levels of service are achieved for Court of Protection clients now. 

Irwin Mitchell’s Court of Protection Executive and the Complex Personal Injury department have worked with industry leaders to create a comprehensive due diligence procedure for the instruction of case managers. 

The industry is seeing a monumental change with a move to CQC registration becoming a necessity as we move towards the implementation of the Institute of Registered Case Managers.  

The target of both is to safeguard those vulnerable clients which should make the task of appointing a case manager, more transparent and easier for deputies and client’s families.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting professional deputies at our dedicated court of protection section.