Making the decision to arrange care for yourself or a family member can be a daunting experience. Navigating the world of social care if you are new to the process can be difficult but an important positive step to make towards an improved quality of life. Choosing the right care provider is the most important decision for you to make and OnePlan have put together their top tips to help you decide.
Visit the CQC Website
The Care Quality Commission is the regulatory body in charge of registering and inspecting care providers. Their website is full of information to help you find a provider, understand what to expect and most importantly lists the latest inspection reports for care providers including detailed ratings. Make sure you have a look at the reports for any providers you are considering for your care. https://www.cqc.org.uk/search/services/services-in-your-home
TOP TIP A key part of a CQC inspection involves asking care receivers and their families their experiences with the provider. This information should be available in the report and will give you a great insight into others experiences.
How will care be documented?
Most care providers now use Electronic Call Monitoring to record visits. This means data is recorded in real time and available to the office- much more efficient and safer than the historic method of using paper records. If a company is using ECM, visit information, care plans, medications and incidents should all be available electronically for the carer and any issues quickly fed back to the office.
Ask what information will you have access to.
If you are a family member it is important to ask what information you will have access to. Depending on the software the care providers use you may ideally have a family log in to the software that you can use to see whether a visit has been completed on time, see any issues such as if medication has not been administered, or just access simple notes regarding the welfare of your family member that day. This is vital for your peace of mind and good
practise in maintaining communication.
Does the care provider use ECM with NFC Technology?
Getting a little ‘techy’ here! Near Field Communication Technology is used in ECM to electronically record the time and location a carer clocks in and out of a call. This helps administrators in the office check calls have been completed in real time, and act on any missed or late calls quickly.
Will the same carer be used for each call?
It is much better to have the same one or two carers visiting you or your family member. They will get to know their client and their needs, and develop a good routine and relationship.
Will there be an initial home visit to establish a care plan?
An initial home visit is important to allow the care provider to see the layout of the home, meet the client and establish exactly what their care needs are so they can develop a suitable care plan. The care plan will detail exactly what support needs to be given, highlight any health issues and corresponding medications, and identify any additional needs that may require a carer with specialist training. The care plan should be clearly written and agreed with the client and their family or next of kin.
The NHS also has a wealth of information to support you and help you decide whether to access care through your local authority, or hire care privately with your Care allowance.