Section 8 - Duration of domiciliary support visits
34.Section 8 sets out the detail of the undertaking that must be given by a person seeking to apply to become a service provider of a domiciliary support service whether that is the first and only service that they apply to provide or a subsequent service that they seek to provide by virtue of an application to vary their initial registration.
35.Subsection (1) sets out the basic undertaking that a domiciliary support service will not be provided by way of a visit which is shorter than 30 minutes unless any one of conditions A, B and C (as set out in subsections (3), (5) and (7)) apply. Those conditions provide exceptions to the application of the undertaking.
36.Subsection (2) ensures that Condition A applies only where a local authority directly provides domiciliary support to a person or the authority commissions a registered provider to provide it because of the local authority’s duty to meet the care and support needs of a person (or the authority’s duty to meet the needs of a person’s carer, for example where the authority provides domiciliary support in order to provide respite for a carer). Condition A does not apply to private arrangements between a person and a service provider where the person is paying the provider directly.
37.Subsection (3) sets out Condition A. The effect of this provision is that that the undertaking will not be breached if the first visit within the period of a care and support plan or a support plan is at least 30 minutes (unless Condition C applies) and the first visit by every new support worker within the same period is also at least 30 minutes. It does not mean that second and subsequent visits can be less than 30 minutes – they would still have to meet the criteria set out in sub paragraph (b) before they were permitted to be shorter. Local authorities are required to have care and support plans in place for persons who they consider to have needs for care and support (and support plans for carers who they consider to have needs) by virtue of section 54 of the 2014 Act.
38.Sub paragraph (b)(ii) is intended to ensure that tasks carried out during a visit meet the quality standards that will be set out in regulations under section 27. This ensures that no visit can be short because the tasks required have been completed to a substandard level.
39.Subsection (4) means that Condition B applies to cases where the person receiving the domiciliary support has directly made arrangements with the provider. It does not make a difference whether a person is paying privately or is paying using direct payments made to them by a local authority under sections 50 or 51 of the 2014 Act.
40.Subsection (5) sets out Condition B. Sub paragraph (a) means that the undertaking will not be breached if the shorter visit is something that the person and the provider have agreed between them. Sub paragraphs (b) and (c) are identical to those in Condition A.
41.Subsection (6) means that Condition C applies in all cases where a domiciliary support service visit is provided.
42.Subsection (7) sets out Condition C. This means that the undertaking will not be breached in circumstances where the person being visited requests that the visit comes to an end before the expiry of 30 minutes.