Choosing the right Care Company for yourself or your family
One of the most difficult decisions to make is where to look to find the best care and support workers for a family member or yourself.
Here we set out how to find the care providers in your area, and what questions they should answer before you make a decision.
Finding a company
Look on the CQC website (www.cqc.org.uk) and search for care companies near the post code of the person needingcare. Homecare (www.homecare.co.uk) is another website that has many care companies on its site. You can also ask friends in the area if they know of any good companies – word of mouth is often useful and can be a reliable method of finding the right care for your loved one.
When you find a company, check first that it is registered with the Care Quality Commission, and look on the website to see if the CQC has confirmed that they are good at all aspects of managing care. All companies obtained through the CQC website will be registered. If you find a service provider elsewhere, check with the CQC before inviting them to a meeting.
Ask for a meeting with a supervisor or the care manager of the company to find out about them, and discuss the care and support that is needed. The meeting should take place in the home of the person needing care so that the supervisor can see the working environment and be able to meet them personally.
The focus of the meeting should place the individual at the centre of the process, ensuring that any care plan created clearly reflects the individual’s wishes and desires, giving them complete control over their care and support.
Often a family member or friend of the person requesting the care will attend the meeting so that they can ask questions, offer support and discuss it with the person involved after the meeting. A list of the needs of the person, including for example, helping with bathing and dressing, preparing food, medication, help with shopping or visiting friends and family, taking the dog for a walk, or general companionship should be drawn up ahead of the meeting, to ensure their needs and desired outcomes are identified. This information can then all be talked through at the initial meeting.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
The sort of questions that you should ask are:-
About the Company
* What is the background of the company and how long has it been going?
* Who owns it and who is the Care Manager?
* Are the staff employed by the company or contracted in?
* Is the company insured and the care workers likewise?
* How many care workers does the company employ
* In which local area does the company regularly do work?
* Does the company offer any specialist care? (eg. caring in dementia,learning disabilities, physical disabilities, the elderly, palliative care)
* Ask for a copy of the complaints policy and the company contract
* Ask for details of the charges, and what happens if you cancel at short notice
About the care and support workers
* How are the care workers selected and interviewed?
* How are they trained and how long does it take?
* Does the company have an on-going training programme for its staff?
* Does the company DBS (police check) all new care workers?
* How are care workers supervised and how often?
* Will there be continuity of care – will the same care worker visit each time?
* What happens if a care worker is sick or on holiday?
* What do you do if you are not happy with a care worker?
* How are care workers introduced to the customer?
When you make a decision, remember you have a choice, and if you are not happy with the way things are working, you should contact the company straight away and explain what you are not happy with.
If you have any serious complaints about a company you should contact the Care QualityCommission (www.cqc.org.uk)