Quality Care – What to consider when looking for good Suffolk Home Care?
It can be a long journey from recognising the need for support at home for yourself or a family member, convincing your relative or spouse that they require care and doing something about it. Now you have started that journey, we would like to give you some idea of what to look out for regarding choosing a Suffolk Home care provider. Below are a variety of things to consider, they are in no particular order of importance.
- Check the Suffolk Home care provider are CQC (Care Quality Commission) registered. Every Home care provider must be registered with the CQC, if you visit their website you can look at the latest CQC inspection report. To look at My Care at Home’s latest CQC inspection click here.
- Speak to people you may know, often recommendation is a good starting point. Age UK and Suffolk Family Carers may be able to give you a list of providers in your area, but they can’t recommend anyone.
- What to explore when speaking to a Suffolk Home care provider?
Do they provide care in your area? Obviously you will want to ensure they would be able to support you with the level of care that you may require based on where you live. It can be more difficult to find Suffolk Home Care providers who cover the more rural areas. We currently look after people in Mid Suffolk, Stowmarket, Needham Market, Stowupland, Debenham, Eye, Wetheringsett and surrounding rural villages. Give us a call and we can let you know if we are able to provide care in your local area.
- Ask what training the Care Workers receive. Every Care Worker must receive induction training within 12 weeks of joining a new company. At My Care at Home, we do not allow anyone to deliver care until they have completed and passed their induction training. Training differs a lot between companies, some train using DVD’s or computer based software or a mixture of the two. At My Care, all our training is delivered in house, face to face by our training manager at our head office in Middlewood Green near Stowmarket. This allows us to get to know our Care workers much better and also helps them to share their knowledge and experience with other new staff. Care workers have the option of doing their QCF (was NVQ) level 2 or 3 in Health and Social Care, this is something we offer to all our staff who have completed induction and their probationary period.
- Quality of Care Ask what systems they have in place to support delivery of quality care and how they monitor the quality of care they provide. See below for more information about what we do at My Care at Home.
- How much does the service cost? This can differ a lot between providers, time of day, weekends and/or bank holidays. We do not charge more for delivering care in the evenings, but we do charge a little more at weekends and public holidays. This increase in cost is to pay our staff to work unsocial hours, we do not benefit from the additional charges. Our overall charges are based on our total remuneration package for our staff, management and IT systems and the standard of training and quality measures we have in place to ensure we deliver a high standard of care for you.
- Quality of Care. At My Care at Home quality of care is paramount. We do not deliver tasks we look after people.
- We do a thorough Care and Risk assessment for all new clients and ensure we allocate the right amount of time to fulfil all your needs.
- As already discussed, checking the CQC report is a good start, but this is only a reflection of a moment in time and understanding more about how the Home Care company support their staff and what quality measures they have in place will help you to understand how important quality is to them as an organisation.
- It has been widely publicised that home care workers are among the lowest paid in our society, often on the minimum wage and the majority do not get paid for their travel time between calls . This leads to Care workers cutting calls short and therefore not delivering a quality service. At My Care at Home, all our staff are paid at least the ‘Living wage’ for delivery of care and we also pay them for their travel time between calls and pay their mileage. This means no rushed calls and hasty retreats, we always deliver care for the full time allocated and required for each of our clients.
- At My Care at Home, we also do spot checks and supervisions for all our Care Workers. Spot checks are arranged with the consent of the client but the Care worker does not know one of our management team will be visiting. The Spot check is used to provide support and enhance Care worker training and to ensure the quality of care delivery remains to the highest standard. It is also a good opportunity to speak with our clients to ensure they remain happy with the service we are providing.
- Supervisions are one to one meetings with our Care Workers to discuss their ongoing development and training needs. Some companies do not pay staff for attending supervisions but we do, as we recognise this is a very important part of their role to ensure quality of care is maintained.
- Team meetings – At My Care at Home, we also have team meetings with all our staff to share good practice, provide updates and it is also an opportunity to raise any issues they may have with internal processes etc.
- Questionnaires – We send out questionnaires every 6-12 months to all our clients to gain feedback on the services we are providing.
- Care Reviews – All clients will have an initial Care and Risk assessment and these are reviewed every 6 months or sooner if requested by a client, relative or Care worker.
- Out of Hours Service – There will always be a senior member of staff on the end of the phone to take your call if you need to speak with us. However, if you do experience problems getting through to us, we have a pager which you can ring and leave a message. We will always ring you straight back. The pager is only used in emergencies as it would be very rare not to get through to a member of our team.
If you have any further questions and would like to know more, please contact the office on 01449 763086.