Ukhca_2 A letter from Mike Padgham chairman of The United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) appeals to the Home Office to put aside the £64 one-off fee expected of home care staff to join the vetting and barring scheme.

The £64 fee (£58 in Northern Ireland) will be required of all new home care staff along with the existing 280,000 staff already working in England, by 2014. This is an increase on current requirements, which the home office claims will enhance the disclosure Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check currently in place, which costs £36.

This cost will damage care homes in a variety of ways, most predominantly in recruitment, where care homes have to meet the costs themselves. In his letter, Mike Padgham writes;

this could "severely impact on home care worker recruitment and retention when turnover in the sector is running at almost 25%".

He continued: "We believe there is certainly a case for costs to be waived for home care workers in a sector which is beleagured by regulatory costs, and evidentially limited in their ability to recoup these costs."

However Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have said that this is a one-off fee and "will make carrying out pre-employment checks easier and quicker"