When you have reached the decision that Live-in Care is right for you or for a loved one, you should then consider what will be the right ‘type’ of live-in care agency for you. Every single live in care agency you contact will have a slightly different service offering. However, there are two principal options – and they can be categorised as an ‘Recruitment & Introductory agency’ and a ‘Managed care agency.’
Both are excellent options, and the decision is really one of ‘horses-for-courses.’ Below I have listed some of the principles of each to help you make a more informed decision.
A Recruitment & Introductory Agency will:
Recruit, register & present self-employed Live-in Carers to you for selection and engagement. NB this does NOT mean that you ‘employ’ them. These Home Carers are registered as ‘self-employed’ with HMRC so there is no implication of employment for you to worry about.
The agency will perform rigorous recruitment checks. Work and character references do background and criminal record checks and ensure Home Carers have up to date insurance.
The agency will verify all training certificates provided by a private carer.
The agency will present you with a selection of ‘matched’ domiciliary Carers for you to choose from.
As a Client you will pay the live-in Carer directly for the service, they provide to you and pay the agency a fee for finding the Carer on your behalf.
Ensure the Home Carers you choose, arrive with you when planned and that you are happy with the service being provided. They will also find you a selection of replacement Living in Carers for you to choose from as and when you need.
This option is less expensive than using a managed agency (see below) as their overheads are less.
A Managed Agency will:
Manage every aspect of the ‘care’ the ‘Carer’ delivers. As employees of the agency, the living in at home Carers are ‘managed’ by the company delivering the service to you.
Recruit and employ staff through rigorous recruitment checks.
The company will train the Carers following a prescriptive schedule.
The Live-in Care staff provided will work under the direction and supervision of the company who will create prescriptive ‘care plans’ for the carer to follow.
Be regulated and assessed for the provision of services by the Care Quality Commission.
As a client you will pay the agency for the complete package of care.
This option is more expensive than using an introductory agency as the company has the consideration of the ‘employment’ overheads.
My name is Jo Pinkney, and I am a Client Relationship Consultant at Access Care which is a specialist Live-in Care Recruitment and Introductory Agency. A large part of my role is keeping in regular contact with our Clients and their relatives and finding out about them as a person, their lifestyle and what type of Home Carer they are looking for.
We also meet all our Live-in Carers when they register with us and find out about them – not just their level of care experience or their training, but also about the type of person they are and their interests. When a Live-in Carer is registering with us, we have to feel happy and confident that they share the ethos of Access Care and will be an ambassador for the company when we introduce them to our Clients – not all Carers who start the registration process make the grade!
This work behind the scenes, and because we work closely as a team to share our experience and knowledge of the needs of both our Clients and the home carers registered with us enables us to confidently select and present suitable Carers to you for your selection. We are a bit like a dating agency in some respects!
We are in regular touch with both them and you to check that things are going well and that you are both happy with each other. If this is not the case, for whatever reason, we will be there for you to try and resolve matters, or ultimately to look for a different Live in Carer if things can’t be resolved.
We are always at the end of the phone and happy to answer any questions you may have regarding Live-in Care.
Client Relationship Consultant