Further evaluation of the impact of the registration of NI social care workers published

Date published: 28 January 2019

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The registration of social care staff improves the quality of social care services in Northern Ireland according to an evaluation study carried out by the Department of Health.

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The evaluation study showed that the majority of employers who responded to the survey thought that  the introduction of  Standards of Conduct and Practice have improved the quality of social care services and  that the majority of social care workers also identified that  the introduction of these standards improved their confidence in how they work.

Currently there are 34,882 people registered with the regulatory authority the Northern Ireland  Social Care Council (NISCC) working in a wide range of social care services including domiciliary care, day care, residential care  and in supported living accommodation.  Registration and the introduction of standards means that  registered social care workers are accountable for their conduct and their practice. Northern Ireland was the first in the UK to introduce compulsory registration to social care workers in March 2017. 

Seán Holland, Chief Social Worker for Northern Ireland, said: “It is great to see these findings which show that registration has started to make a difference to services.  The findings continue to demonstrate the important role of social care workers in providing care and support and also the importance social care staff place on the quality and safety of the services they provide. I am proud of the social care workforce and the important role they play in delivering social care and social wellbeing.”

An evaluation exercise began in 2017 to measure the impact of registration and the new professional standards upon the quality of social care services and early findings previously published by the Department in 2017 identified that members of the public believed that registration would lead to improvements in  the quality of services.   This second phase of the evaluation looked at the difference registration made to social care services during  2018/19. The findings from Year Two have been published in a Report Card by the Department of Health.

“Social care workers, their employers, the general public, and people who use social care services have all  told us about their experiences and what impact they feel registration of social care workers will have on services. The recent findings  from Year Two of the evaluation continue to  highlight the really important contribution of this workforce in providing community care and support, in sustaining social wellbeing, and also the very  high value the public and people who use services place on the safety and quality  of social care services,” said Mr Holland.

The Department has presented early findings from this evaluation to other national and international regulatory authorities at the UK Professional Standards Authority Conference held in Windsor in 2018.

Notes to editors: 

  1. A copy of the findings is available to download on the Department of Health website.
  2. For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office on 028 9052 0575 or email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk. Out of hours please contact the Duty Press Office via pager number 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.
  3. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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