Agenda item

Ethical Care Charter Update November 2018

A report providing the Committee with an update on the National Ethical Care Charter in Reading.


The Director of Adult Social Care and Health Services submitted a report providing the Committee with an update on the National Ethical Care Charter in Reading.

The report stated that work continued to support domiciliary care providers in the Borough to work towards the National Ethical Care Charter standards as part of a phased approach, and towards stage three regarding the National Living Wage, previously known as the ‘National Minimum Wage’.  Monitoring that had been carried out by the Council’s Commissioners, including market information that had come from a range of sources, had indicated that there were no new concerns to report.  Six out of seven Homecare providers had implemented the National Ethical Care Charter Standards and one provider had progressed with an action plan which the Council had continued to monitor.  However, the provider had now indicated that they were making good progress and once a formal review had been completed it was expected that they would be deemed to be compliant.  The Council was confident that the providers on the Homecare Framework in the Borough would be 100% compliant by January 2019 and aligned with the National Ethical Charter, including paying the Foundation Living Wage of £9 per hour.  Spot purchase care providers in the Borough paid the National Living Wage which was the legal minimum requirement within the National Ethical Care Charter, representing 50% of the market.  The new tender that would commence in March 2019 would draw all Homecare Supported Living providers under one dynamic framework that would see all staff being paid the Living Wage Foundation rate, in complying with the Council’s Pay Policy decision.  The Cost of Care Review for Homecare had been carried out in 2017/18 and had resulted in the new fees being set.  Through this process the impact on cost to the Council had been low.

The report stated that being a Living Wage Foundation employer was not a National Ethical Charter legal requirement explicitly and only three Councils with social services functions had signed the Living Wage Foundation across the south east.  50% of providers on the Council’s Framework had adopted the Living Wage Foundation in the Borough and 50% of care providers on spot purchasing arrangements paid the National Living Wage.

The current Homecare and Supportive Living Framework would end in May 2019.  However, through corporate procedure board waiver rules the contract had been extended by six months, in line with the intended procurement process of 14 months.  Therefore work was currently on-going to recommission and market shape support at home, it would be driven towards self-directed support, working with other Councils and the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group.

The Council continued to work with the care market regarding the monitoring of core standards, including the National Ethical Care Charter and engaged with Skills for Care in terms of reporting care workforce performance through the National Minimum Data Set.  The Commissioning Team had carried out and planned a number of market engagement events with care and support partners to engage the new way of working which was focused on self-directed care.

Resolved –

(1)     That the continued progress made by local care providers towards full compliance with the National Ethical Care Charter be noted;

(2)     That the National Ethical Care Charter promotes best practice in contracting employment terms for carers and in paying the National Living Wage (prior known as the National Minimum Wage) be noted.


(The meeting commenced at 6.30 pm and closed at 7.17 pm).

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