Caring for my husband

Hi I hope some one on here can help me.
It’s about direct payments. We are with a care company at the moment but I am thinking of using the direct payments to hire our own carers. How exactly does this work and can you hire carers from your previous care agency? Some of the care my husband receives is good but there is such a high turn over of staff at the moment and my husband gets easily confused when new staff come in. When I approached the company about this I was told I could always look elsewhere. Not exactly the right attitude to have. I’m so confused and upset over this I just want the best for my husband.

Direct Payment options ?

AGE UK … full sp :

Well worth reading … do you sincerly want to become an employer … and be resposible for everything associated with it ???

Hi Susan,
I suspect the agency carers have a clause in their contracts, stopping them working privately for individuals they have cared for through the agency. This ban usually lasts for a set period of time. I would check this out with one of the agency carers who are both knowledgeable and you trust.

If you do go the direct payments and selecting care workers yourselves route, you are more in charge of the situation have a plan in place for when the care workers are sick, on annual leave etc It’s less hassle if you use a payroll company/charity. Alternatively you could consider moving to another agency. The attitudes of those running the agency and co-ordinating the care, vary widely. Often the ones where the clients are predominantly private, are used to delivering better customer service.


Hi Susan,
I used direct payments.
My circumstances were that my caree was mainly self funding with a contribution from our LA which was received in the form of direct payments.
I employed carers through an agency which meant I was not their employer and did not have to deal with all the paperwork that involves.
The disadvantages you might find is that the amount per hour the LA will contribute to the costs does not match the amount you have to pay.
Care Companies accept LA paid contracts at a lower rate than private customers which you will be.
You have to open a new bank account, purely to receive the direct payments and to pay the company.
You have to keep all invoices and bank statement to prove where the money has gone. The LA will audit the account at regular intervals.
You may have to ‘top up’ the bank account if you have used more care or if the direct payment isn’t enough to cover costs.
Be aware that Public holiday costs might be double the usual rate.
Advantages are that the company will be more eager to keep you as a satisfied private customer, because you pay more.
You can refuse to pay for proven ‘no shows’ or time that hasn’t been spent.
You can arrange with the company for extra care if needed for special occasions and if they have a carer available. Plenty of notice.
You can swap companies more easily, if the one you are using proves unsatisfactory. Read the contract carefully.
The first step is to interview different companies to find one which seems to suit your requirements.
You could ask the LA to swap to another company but I don’t know whether that would work.
I don’t know anything about ‘payroll’ carers or Charities as I have no experience of those.
There are always going to be new carers as others leave, go on holiday or become ill, but I agree that a high turn over of staff doesn’t give you confidence.

Two wise responses from Melly and Elaine. I think there will always be new faces coming through the door due to turnover and staffing rosters. No assurances that things will be any different with other agencies. Mum and I preferred to get mum’s self-funded care through the LA so we didn’t have to worry about administrative stuff.