If community micro-providers provide personal care (such as bathing, dressing, using the toilet, assisting with medication) in a person’s home, they may need to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
There is however an exemption from registration if the provider is an individual, contracted directly by you or your legal representative working under your control and direction.  Many of the Self-employed Micro-providers in Somerset operate under this exemption and work for people who are happy, able and willing to self-manage or self-direct their care support, or have a representative that can do this on their behalf.
This means that a self-employed care worker is often a good option if you are struggling to get the services or support you want and would like more or better flexible local options.
The disadvantage is that the usual checks that come with CQC registration (training, references, qualifications, insurances etc) may not have happened. Micro-providers operating under this exemption operate in a different way than CQC registered care providers. The most notable differences that you need to be aware of are that unregulated Micro-providers are legally unable to: -
- Make decisions about your care and support
- Co-ordinate the work of other micro-providers or create a rota of care on your behalf.
- Monitor or take responsibility for the performance or duties of another micro-providers
- Hire, dismiss or determine pay for other Micro-providers.
It is therefore it is really important that before making the decision to use a self-employed Micro-providers you or your representative need to clearly answer yes to the questions below: -
- I (or my legal representative) know what support or care I want and need
- I (or my legal representative) are willing and able to engage directly with a Micro-provider and tell them what is needed
- I (or my legal representative) know how to check the suitability of a micro-provider and make a good choice of a provider who will meet my needs.
- I (or my legal representative) are willing and able to check the suitability of a micro-provider and decide whether to engage their services
- I (or my legal representative) have the capacity, as defined under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, to control, direct and co-ordinate the care needed and are willing and able to do so.
If this is not the case then using a unregulated service provider, operating under this exemption will not be right for you.
For further details please see: - Skills for Care: PAs working and CQC registration https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Employing-your-own-care-and-support/Resources/Working-as-a-PA/1.-What-is-a-PA/PA-working-and-CQC-registration/PA-working-and-CQC-registration.pdf
If you are unsure of the legal or regulatory status of a community micro-provider you should take advice from the Care Quality Commission CQC on 03000 61 61 61 or visit: http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/what-registration#accordion-1. or contact Somerset Community Micro-enterprise Programme at firstname.lastname@example.org .
People operating an unregulated care service that should be regulated are open to prosecution by the Care Quality Commission.
 For the Care Quality Commission definition of personal care. See: https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/registration/personal-care
For further clarifications and for the definition of related third party please see page 14 of the CQC: The Scope of Registration document. http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20151230_100001_Scope_of_registration_guidance_updated_March_2015_01.pdf