Homecare can be quite expensive. You may be receiving assistance with paying for this service but many are now having to fund their care and support privately – but in both cases it is important you ask the right questions to ensure you receive the right support for homecare you require.
Question 1 – References
Does the Agency check references? – all Homecare agencies whether they are registered by CQC or other regulatory bodies are required to obtain 2 references from their employees. A Perfect PA gets 2 references and will provide this information to our customers if required. Remember you are opening your door to someone you probably don’t know, references are a way to get a third party view of the person, their work ethic, trustworthiness and absence record – if you are not offered sight of these – ask. Remember you are paying for this service.
Question 2 – DBS Check
Does the Agency obtain DBS checks and are these updated yearly? – The Disclosure and Barring Service checks apply to all individuals working with vulnerable adults. These checks ensure they are suitable to work or volunteer in the Health & Social Care industry – they do this through various Government departments including the Police. Care companies apply for an Enhanced DBS which checks the barred list and any company who fails to do this can be penalised. Conversely if an employee of a care organisation is dismissed for safeguarding issues against a vulnerable adult the company must inform DBS who will investigate further which could result in the employee being added to the barred list in the future. It is important to ask that your Homecare provider adheres to this.
Question 3 – Training /Supervision
What training and supervision do they provide? All companies involved in the care or support of adults who are, at times, very vulnerable, should provide adequate training to enable their employees to provide the right and safe kind of care and support. This training could include First Aid, Manual Handling skills, Dementia Care, Safeguarding and many more – check what they provide. Supervision is another regulatory process and should be best practice for any good Homecare company. Supervision means that management will observe the employee both at work as well as spending time with them to discuss their development requirements and any challenges they may have faced that require further attention or training.
Question 4 – Complaints
Do they have a robust Complaints Policy and do they follow it through? – you have the right to choose your care and if it goes wrong then how do you complain. You should be able to see the Company’s Complaints Policy to check that they handle their complaints fairly, fully and in a timely manner. And please, if a Homecare agency tells you they don’t get complaints ask them how come! We are dealing with individuals and things are bound to go wrong at times as no-one is truly perfect – a good Homecare agency will tell you about their complaints and be proud to inform how they solved them to further their understanding of the individuals they support and to make their business safer and better.
Question 5 – Insurance?
Do they have the correct insurance? – every company dealing with members of the public are required to have EL and PL insurance. Some Homecare agencies will require further insurance. Check that they have this and that you are protected by it.
Question 6 – Sickness / Absence
What happens if your regular support is off sick or on holiday? – unfortunately sickness does happen and annual leave is a legal requirement for all employees, but can your Homecare provider guarantee to provide you with consistent support or care when this absence occurs.