How to find a private carer

Are you looking to find a private carer? The Guild is here to support you on your journey.

Within this blog, we look at what to consider first, the different options that are available and the expert care that you can access from our team at the Guild.

The Guild has been providing excellent care to people in their own homes and in the community since 1995. Highly experienced in looking after both children and adults, our nurses and healthcare assistants ensure our clients receive the best quality care, whether they need a few hours of care or a full care package in the community.

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What to think about when considering a private carer

As you start looking to find a private carer, there are certain factors to think about first. This includes:

Your needs

You might want to provide some care yourself but, in the long term, it can be tough taking on the role alone. Having access to a private carer can take the pressure off while keeping your loved one safe in their own home.

It helps to be realistic about what you can do on a practical level. There might, for example, be some days of the week when you need help and others when you’re fine without it.

Ask yourself:

  • What support do they need?
    • Is it just during the day and if so, how often and for how long?
    • Do they need someone to live with them?
  • Do they need care at night as well as during the day? One carer or two?
  • Is the care short-term to provide respite, or does the person need ongoing care?
  • Are there specific needs that require medical support?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a clearer picture of how a private carer will best support your loved one and yourself.

Questions to ask a care agency

When you’re reaching out to care agencies, it is important to ask the right questions. Plan to check what they can and can’t provide, what they expect from you, how much it will cost, and whether they can guarantee that someone will always be available.

Other questions to ask include:

  • How and when is the carer/agency paid?
  • Are there additional expenses such as travel or food?
  • Is there an additional charge for night calls? If so, how much?
  • How much time does the carer need off each day?
  • What happens if a carer isn’t suitable or falls ill while they are with you?
  • Are both male and female carers available?

If the person has dementia or another long-term or complex illness such as Parkinson’s, it’s also worth asking whether carers have specific experience. Other factors might include a carer’s ability to cope with broken nights or prepare certain foods and drinks.

When contacting the Guild to ask about our private care services, we’ll answer any questions transparently and with great detail, so that you have access to all the information that you need to take the next step forward.

Your options when finding a private carer

Private carers

In some cases, families find their own private carer. But, unless you already know someone who comes recommended, it can be time-consuming and far from straightforward.

It involves interviewing, vetting, and evaluating someone’s suitability and then becoming their employer. They’ll be entitled to protection from Employer’s Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance, as well as a written contract, holiday, and sick pay. You’ll also need to carry out your own checks on them via the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme in Scotland, AccessNI in Northern Ireland, Garda Vetting in the Republic of Ireland and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) if you’re located in England. And it can be challenging to find another carer at short notice if things don’t work out, or they fall ill.

Using a care agency can be a simpler solution. Your options include:

An introduction service

Some agencies will find someone for you, and once you’ve agreed to their fee and period of cover, you pay the carer directly (plus a weekly agency fee) and agree with them on what tasks they need to carry out.

A fully managed service

Some agencies employ their own carers, train them, and fully manage all aspects of care.

Fully managed service providers are typically regulated and inspected. They will be registered with the Care Quality Commission in England, the Scottish Care Inspectorate in Scotland and RQIA in Northern Ireland.

Choosing the Guild for your private carer needs

The Scottish Nursing Guild provides ‘sector leading’ nursing and care services to private clients at their homes in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.5

We’re regularly reviewed by the Care Inspectorate in Scotland and RQIA in Northern Ireland to ensure we’re delivering the highest quality service to people living in the community. You can view our latest inspection scores here.

If you would like to use our service, you will predominantly be supported by two teams:

  • Our case managers
  • Our community placement team

Our case managers

Our case managers, who are also experienced nurses, will arrange a call or visit to understand your current needs and work with you to ensure the necessary documentation is in place. This may include:

  • A clinical assessment: This will include discussing all aspects of the care that is needed. It may be face-to-face or remote, depending on your care package and geographical location.
  • A care plan: If required, your case manager will compile a care plan in conjunction with yourself your loved one, and ask for consent to care and treatment. The care plan will include the care interventions required and will take on board any preferences.
  • Risk assessments: If required, your case manager will complete risk assessments regarding the care package, which can include but is not limited to, environmental, manual handling and any others specific to your needs.
  • Ongoing management: Your case manager will complete regular reviews of the care package. The time frame between reviews will be dependent on the package. These reviews will include updates on your clinical requirements and documentation. It will also give you an opportunity to discuss the care package, including what is going well and what could be improved on.

Our case managers will be your clinical point of contact and help resolve any queries you may have. Working alongside our office-based community placement team, the case managers will continue to be involved for the duration that you commission our services.

Our community placement team

Our community placement team will put together a team of nurses and/or healthcare assistants who meet your needs as quickly as possible. Responsible for all of your shift booking requirements, they will ensure that a consistent set of nurses and/or healthcare assistants work with you, providing true continuity of care.

The community placement team will also provide you with regular updates regarding the placement and the names of workers booked into your care package prior to shift commencement and if any changes occur.

Get in touch with us

Please do not hesitate to contact the Guild should you require any further information.

Our office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so we’re always available when you or a loved one need us. Give us a call and have a chat with one of the team today.

We look forward to working with you.

References

  1. https://www.gov.scot/policies/social-care/social-care-support/#free%20care
  2. https://www.gov.scot/publications/free-personal-nursing-care-qa/
  3. https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/publications/direct-payments-guidance
  4. https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-41046695.html
  5. https://tnssng.fra1.digitaloceanspaces.com/sngltd/wp/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/SNG_Inspection_Report_Feb_23.pdf

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