Domiciliary care/support provider checklist

These questions may be useful when considering using the services of a home care (domiciliary) provider to help you build up a picture of how your care needs will be met in your own home.

For care packages which have been arranged by Gloucestershire County Council, contracts and care plans will have been completed by your care manager and the agencies used will have been accredited to work for Gloucestershire County Council.

People arranging and funding their own care either privately or through a Direct Payment or a personal budget are able to choose their own worker or domiciliary care/support provider.

Agencies
• What experience does the agency have in your particular field of need? Can they supply references for you to check?
• Home care agencies providing personal care, must be registered and inspected by the Care Quality Commission. Ask to see a copy of their registration certificate and read CQC’s latest inspection report on the website www.cqc.org.uk.
• How long has the agency been operating?
• How many carers would the agency assign to care for you and would you see the same one every day? If not, how does the staff rota operate and what happens if your carer goes on holiday or is sick, will you be notified in advance that a different carer will be attending?
• How can you contact the agency in an emergency or outside office hours?
• How hard or easy would it be to make a complaint and how are things then put right?
• If this is a private contract ask for a copy of the agency’s contract terms and read these carefully with someone you trust.

Get as much help as you can going over it and ask any questions you may have before signing anything. The Citizens Advice Bureau or Age UK could help with this.

Carers
You should expect your personal preferences, dignity and privacy to be respected. Discuss this with the agency and ask how the most suitable carers for your particular care are chosen. Can you talk to them before deciding?

• Carers should be fully trained or be in on-going training. Ask the agency about their policies on this.
• You will have a care plan drawn up by the agency which the carers will work to. Ask how often this plan will be reviewed by the agency.
• Carers must be checked with the Disclosure and Barring Service and have a criminal records disclosure – make sure this is the case.

Paying
• If your care needs do not meet your local authority’s eligibility criteria and have been arranged privately you should check carefully the fee rates charged and exactly
what the payment you make covers.