Red tape cut for care and support services

You spend a lot more time lobbying for change than seeing it in our line of work, so today’s new guidance from the Department of Transport, which should make it much easier for care and support services who transport people as part of their wider work, is a rare victory. We’ve been campaigning on this issue for years. Here’s an example of why it matters:

Companions is a micro-domiciliary care service established to provide consistent, responsive and flexible care for a small group of older people, who pay for the service from personal budgets or their own money. The providers consulted widely with potential customers before setting up the service. These older people found it difficult to use public transport and were essentially confined to their homes, isolated and lonely. Top of their ‘wish list’ was help to go out into the community and to meet their friends. Companions designed a service which included using their own cars to take people out but were told that they would have to be licensed as private hire vehicles. The costs and complexity of obtaining a licence were insurmountable, so they have, until now, not been able to provide the service most desired by their customers.

The new guidance takes a pragmatic approach to clarifying a complex area of law, from which other departments could learn. This change may seem dry and technical, but it will result in many disabled and older people being able to get out of their houses for the first time in years.

This will be one of the important regulatory changes highlighted in the new ‘map’ for micro-enterprises which NAAPS UK is developing with support from government and which will be published in the Autumn. You can find out more on the news page at



2 thoughts on “Red tape cut for care and support services

  1. sheila pennell August 6, 2011 / 1:17 pm


    Hi, my name is Sheila and I’m just 3/4 months into Shared Lives … I don’t know how to start a new topic but wd like to share my experience in trying to open a bank account for our new friend …. had such a job to provide enuf ID for him but got it all together in the end and, when he had a day off his activity, took him along confident we’d done everything they’d asked. Waited half hour for a ‘banking adviser’ and, as she sat at the computer form and typed, out of the blue asked for his 3 previous addresses and postcodes. He didn’t know the full address of respite where he’d been before, and couldn’t verbalise his previous home address … which I’d never been given.

    We coped by getting the adviser to google his respite home, then fone them, and they gave his address before that … but WHY DIDN’T THE BANK ASSISTANTS TELL ME I’d need all that before he cd have a b/a? And now, because he has no credit history, (good or bad) his application was still rejected and must now all be done again ‘in ink’ on a paper form.

    Anyone else has/has had this trouble? Ask a lot of questions of the bank staff before u go in .. especially if you hope to actually deposit some money! We had to come home with £200 in an envelope .. just as we went!

    rgds, Sheila, Birmingham.

  2. Nana Wereko Brobby December 13, 2011 / 12:12 pm

    interesting post. a lot of the elderly people we work with, delivering home care to them, are most concerned about being able to leave the house and connect with the world outside of their immediate environment. whilst home care is important, it’s also vital that we put mobility and frankly their social lives on the agenda.

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