If you are arranging care privately or have opted for a direct payment you or the person you're looking after has to find the care agency and pay them.
The home care provider will provide a service through a trained team of care workers. This means you may not always have the same person visiting your home, although the agency will do its best to take your choices into account. Independent home care providers are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Home care providers must meet CQC's national minimum standards and regulations in areas such as training and record-keeping. The CQC has the power to inspect agencies and enforce standards.
Home care providers must vet home care workers before engaging them by taking up references and carrying out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on potential employees. Home care providers can also:
- take over the burden of being an employer - for example, payroll, training, disciplinary issues and insurance
- train their homecare workers through national qualifications and service-specific training
- replace workers when they are ill, on holiday or resign
- put things right when they go wrong
The provider will want to see you and/or the person you're looking after so that they can assess your needs. This also means that a joint decision can be made about the most appropriate type of care and support.