Go to navigation
Policy for purchasing domiciliary care
In May 2008, the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
published the quality ratings of all care homes on their website.
Medway Council considers the rating system a welcome development
for the commissioners or purchasers of services to support
families, and for the wider community in choosing a residential or
nursing home for themselves or a loved one.
CQC’s quality ratings
CQC has introduced quality ratings to indicate whether a care
home or care service is 'excellent', 'good', 'adequate' or 'poor'.
These ratings tell people simply and clearly how well a registered
service is doing against the national standards.
Following a key inspection for a care service, CQC awards stars
(a rating) to show how well the care service is performing against
the national standards. The ratings are as follows:
- Three stars *** = Excellent
- Two stars ** = Good
- One star * = Adequate
- No stars = Poor
Useful CQC links
Medway Council’s purchasing policy for domiciliary care (home
This policy sets out how Medway Council’s decisions to buy
domiciliary care will be influenced by the introduction of this
independent and transparent rating system. From 23 June 2008,
Medway Council and its commissioning partners began applying the
following criteria when purchasing care from all domiciliary care
DCAs that are part of the home care contract
Home Care contracted providers are the preferred DCAs for all
new referrals when purchasing domiciliary care. Medway Council will
not purchase from providers outside of this contract unless the
following circumstances are satisfied:
- The prospective service user is already receiving a service
from a DCA that is not a primary provider of the home care
contract. For the purposes of continuity of care, the service user
would prefer to stay with that provider.
- The prospective service user requires specialist services that
cannot be provided through the home care contract.
DCAs that are not part of the home care contract
Where either of these scenarios is applicable then the following
criteria will apply in purchasing services:
DCAs rated ‘excellent’ or ‘good’
Medway Council is keen to continue a productive relationship
with providers rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Its resources should
be focused on developing a relationship with these providers and
will manage them in the same way that it manages Home Care
More importantly, these opportunities will be offered and
implemented with the intention of incentivising DCAs to aspire to,
and attain, such ratings.
DCAs rated ‘adequate’ or ‘not yet rated’
DCAs rated as ‘adequate’ could be described as having room for
improvement,These agencies form a minority of the provision
available to the council. In making a purchase from a such a
provider, the council must ask itself: “How can we be sure that
this purchase is sound, and offers best value?”
Therefore, the council will be reluctant to purchase care from a
DCA that has the rating of ‘adequate’ or ‘not yet rated’ unless it
can meet the following criteria:
- the DCA has the rating of ‘good’ for management or safety
- the contract price offers best value when compared to the Home
Care contract rates.
DCAs rated ‘poor’ or ‘suspended rating’
The council will not contract with DCAs that have these ratings.
It has a duty of care to prospective service users and a duty to
ensure best value. Both of these duties are reflected in the
council’s guiding principles:
- Putting our customers at the centre of everything we do;
- Giving value for money.
Promotion of this policy
Medway Council will, of course, raise awareness among its staff
about this policy and ensure that it is applied consistently and
The council also has a duty to self-funders (private individuals
who pay for their care without the direct participation of the
Council). It will perform this duty by confirming in the Adult
Social Care Guide that the council has a policy for purchasing
domiciliary care, which we are happy to share on request.
Add this page to my Quick Links: Add page
Send this page to a friend: Send