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Contracting with a home care provider

There are a variety of home care providers in Staffordshire. It is worth taking your time to choose the one best suited to your needs.

Why use direct payments for a home care provider?

Advantages

  • less responsibility than employing your own personal assistant
  • you won’t have the responsibility of managing staff
  • less administration
  • good emergency cover
  • they are registered and inspected by the Care Quality Commission

Disadvantages

  • you will have to negotiate your own contract with the provider
  • you will have to negotiate the rates the provider charges you. You may end up having to pay a top-up as well as your assessed contribution
  • you may receive different carers/support workers
  • you may have limited choice of the times that the carers can visit

 


 

Criminal record checks

Make sure the home care provider you use completes criminal record checks on their staff.

 


 

Contracts

Make sure the provider can meet your needs.

You need a contract that states what you have agreed to such as time and day that they will visit and so on.

 


 

Charges

Make sure you know what their charges are, especially for bank holidays, weekends and night cover if necessary.

Extra costs

Some agencies also charge extra fees such as call out charges.

These should be documented in the contract you have signed.

Partial hours

You should also check what their charges are for part of an hour (e.g. a quarter of an hour) as this may be more than a quarter of their hourly rate.

This should also be documented in the contract you have signed.

Rate increases

If the home care provider increases their rates, you need to make sure the rates are still affordable from your direct payment.

If they are not and you cannot renegotiate terms, then you will need to contact your Social Care Practitioner for advice.  You should contact them as soon as you become aware that your care costs are increasing.

It may be that you will need to pay the additional fees from your personal funds. You may wish to consider changing agencies.

Advice

Contact your practitioner for further advice on this. Should you need help with working out rates please contact Staffordshire Cares.

 


 

Notice periods

We recommend that you commit yourself to a notice period of no longer than one month.

This should be documented in the contract you have signed.

 


 

Paying invoices

You should pay invoices promptly and keep copies for your records.

You should not be paying any mileage costs to the home care provider unless detailed in your care and support plan.

 


 

What records do you have to keep?

  • a copy of any signed contracts between yourself and the home care provider
  • direct payment bank statements
  • invoice copies 

 Please note

All direct payment paperwork should be kept for 7 years.

 


 

Further information

Please see the commonly asked questions page.

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