Self Managing Care Agencies

We are struggling to get the quality/level of care from care agencies appointed by social services and now social services are suggesting we find and manage our own care agency.

Does anyone have experience of taking over the management of care agencies for home care?

I don’t want to take on the responsibility of doing this as I can imagine it can be quite challenging. I already have enough on my hands without the extra responsiblity this would bring.

It seems care agencies can bid for work and if they find they can’t do it, or if the family raises concerns (we have to speak on behalf of Mum as she has aphasia and limited capacity overall) they simply pull out of the care package saying they can no longer support it.

My concern here is that if social services are not able to source and manage the care agency how will I do it?

Any one doing this themselves or know of someone who has done it and can offer tips?

Thank you in advance.

I haven’t looked into this, but it sounds horribly like a buck passing exercise.
You may find something helpful here:-
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/paying-for-care/financial-assessment/personal-budgets-and-direct-payments/

Best of luck, I hope you get something worked out.

Thank you @Alfie1.

This is very much a passing the buck and it is unfortunate, but it seems the council social services think we are being too demanding or unrealistic in our expectations, though they seem to agree with out concerns.

They seem powerless or unwilling to address the issues raised with the care agencies. In the end, the care agency simply exercises its right to pull out of the care package on the grounds “they cannot support it”.

It is an option I am having to seriously consider since Mum is not very happy with the carers and it is having a mental and physical impact on her well being.

Thanks for the link to Age UK.

It might be worth phoning Ageuk too, they will probably have someone that can talk you through the process.
Good luck.

Hi ManjiB

I know it must sound overwhelming but finding your own care agency could be a much better solution for you. My feeling is when companies are getting all the work from the local authority, then chances are they are overwhelmed with work and that’s when quality can become an issue.

If you found your own care agency, you clearly explained your expectations to them and they agreed they could deliver that for the budget then you have what you’re looking for. If it then turns out they don’t meet the levels of service and quality you agreed then you could look at others. I know it’s not ideal but you could end being in a much better position in the end.

The local authority where I am has a directory of care agencies in the borough, so your not having to find that information yourself, ask your social worker or Adult Services to find out where your local authority provides that information.

Has anyone at Adult Services discussed a personal budget and direct payments with you properly, as that sounds like what they may be suggesting. People can use that to engage another care agency or a PA.

Along side personal budgets that there are usually care brokers or a care brokerage service they suggest, that manage all the administrative stuff for you. If you’re looking for a PA, they can get involved in supporting you with that too.

The important information missing from that webpage is the role of Care Brokers, who are independent. Ask your local authority for the details of the care brokers in your area.

You could also try googling the name of your local authority and the words personal budgets. That should bring up information on how things work in your area. If you just google personal budget you can see how lots of other areas manage their personal budgets which should give you some ideas.

I don’t underestimate how overwhelming it must feel to have to get involved in doing all this but if you can get the care sorted out that will at least be one bit of the load lifted.

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Hi MurielS - thank you so much for taking time to give such a detailed response with much useful information. My local authority, Adult Services and Social Worker have been a real let down and I feel they are mostly yo blame for the situation we are in. They seem to have no clear process in place to appoint the right agency and once appointed they have no process in place to properly manage them.

Anytime I go to Adult Services/Aocial Worker they have the audacity to say I complain too much or I complain about everything. It is totally the wrong attitude to have towards someone you are meant to be helping. Now as someone pointed out in theor response, they are “trying to pass the buck” so that they don’t have to deal with the mess they have created. I asked them how their brokerage identifies suitable agencies but they are unable to explain.

The agency we have now has no idea what the care plan should be and are providing a generic care package which is not appropriate for the person I care for and worse still, even the generic care is sub-standard.

I agree the agencies have or are allowed to take on more work than they can manage and as a result quality suffers hugely to the extent some cared for are exposed to safeguarding issues.

Whilst I agree if I can get the personal budget scheme working it would be a better or best solution for the person I care for, my fear is that the carers will be cur from the same cloth and I will have the additonal hassle of managing the other elements of the care package. It is overwhelming as you say and especially when you are having to be a nurse, doctor, carer, social worker etc. to try and provide the care that the cared for person needs.

Thaank you once again. I will try to update this post once I have found a solution that works.

I hope no one else has to go through what we are going through.

Stay well and stay safe!

Hi @ManjiB, you could always have a Self Employed PA(s). Where I live we have a Company that deals with my Personal Budget from the Council directly, the Council pay the Agency the Finances, and my PA just invoices the Company, who take a tiny percentage (well worth it!) and all I have to is sign the Invoice!

You could try https://www.dialuk.info/ they’re a good resource of info.

Good luck :+1::four_leaf_clover:

Hi @ZX1

Thanks for your advice.
For now, things have settled down and hopefully I will not need to go down the self managed budget route, but if I do then I will see if there are self employed PAs that may be able to help.

Best wishes,

ManjiB.

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@ManjiB well that’s good to hear … wishing you well :slightly_smiling_face::sparkles: