Too many no shows from agency staff

Hi, new here, search of some help/advise brings me to this forum.

I am a father of 3 lovely daughter’s, unfortunately 2 of them are disabled, middle one(DD2) and the youngest one(DD3). DD3 has got complex and very demanding health care needs, needs one to one care at all times. DD2 is different but does need very close observation at the very least through out day and night.

DD2 gets 20 hours a week care from someone i personally employed through Personal Health Budget(PHB). DD3 gets 70 hours care which is provided by an agency 10 hours each night.

Me and my wife are full time carers as both children have healthcare needs throughout the day. My own physical and mental health is being affected by continuous care and stress. Wife starts the day at 6am with medication of DD2, usual morning routine of breakfast and school trips. I get up a bit late but up till at least 1am when DD2 has her last medicines. We share workload of domestic duties, care duties and help each other out. Sometimes take kids out, go shopping, gardening, bit of gym almost everyday as my health desperately needs it. Care side is very demanding, all i would say as that as a husband and wife we rarely have a meal together as one of us would end up leaving the table to attend to the daughters. Everyday both of us can’t wait to go to bed at the end of the day.

Sorry for the long story but just to give an idea.

Not moaning yet. Managing so far, not too bad but the problem is with the agency who provides care for DD3 at night. After a hectic day, waiting for her carer to come and give us relief for the night, will get a call an hour before their start rime that the carer can’t come and 99% of the times no one else is available to cover. This has happened around 30 times in the past year. So have to stay awake all night.

I have complained to the agency top management, our local CCG, SS, CQC and every time the answer is: we are sorry to hear and/or we will speak to the agency, blah blah blah, effectively nothing practical is done.

I have decided to change the agency but its going to take a while, but ppl keep telling me all agencies have the same problem. Meanwhile i don’t know what to do, how would the agency be held accountable for all this?

Does anyone know whom i should approach who can do something solid about the agency?

Thank you for your time reading this.

Hi Mr A,

Welcome to the forum.

it sounds like you and your wife are an efficient team juggling life with caring for your daughters. How old are they?

I care for S; but at the special school I work at the children with the most complex health care needs (who sound most like DD3) have care from a Complex Care Agency which is specificallly for children and adults who need suctioning, have peg or nasogastric feeding and for meds, have a trachy etc Is the agency that provides DD3’s care specifically for Complex Care? The children often wait until initially until they are accepted for funding for this care and for health care workers to be trained but once a team is in place, the care is very efficient. New staff shadow a trained member until a new one is signed off on th procedures for that specific child. The reason I’m wondering if your daughter is under a specialist or generic agency? The agency should always have a back up plan in place in case of an emergency with another client/ a worker is absent. Thirty missed calls is certainly not acceptable and is taking advantage of the fact that you or their Mum will step in and deliver the care.

If a formal complaint to the agency hasn’t worked, I would contact the health commissioning body next. Are they being billed when care doesn’t take place? Meanwhile, do any of you daughter’s classmates receive complex care? Which agencies do they use.

Sorry if you have done all the above already, just thinking aloud in my post …


I had the same issue with paid carers, frequently, I would get a call my carer hasn’t turned up, can you come and help.
The agency was contacted and yes very sorry it won’t happen again, it was alright for a couple of weeks then the care started to slide downwards again.

The agencys just don’t have the staff, and if staff phone in sick then they are even more short staffed, which produces the bad service.

Like you contacted the CQC but nothing happened, I did contact safe guarding, an elderly person on their own and the carers don’t turn up.
But not a lot happened, it is just a britain wide problem, care crisis , not enough carers.

So sorry not much help, keep a diary/record of all the issues and just keep badgering people, it really is bad you are entitled to the care but it doesn’t turn up.
Write a letter to each involved Recorded, tell your G.P. , it is affecting your health if you have to stay up all night.

The age of the children is really important information for us to give proper advice.
Have you made any long term plans for them, for the time when you won’t be able to provide the current level of care?

The situation with carers does scare me.

I was chatting to one of the supervisors (from Mums agency) today about how dependant Mum and I are on them turning up. They are all on zero hours contracts and have a high turnover of staff. Somebody thinking its easy money and leaving after a few days when they realise how tough the job is.

So many of Mums carers clearly enjoy the job and do it for the love of the job, certainly not for money…

Thing is for my carees, there is no family, no warden to check on them, no emergency care team to come out.

Single elderly living on their own.

They are 100% dependent on the paid carers, at very least go with no dinner, but could have had a fall, no carer means lying there for hours.

I’m sorry we rant at each other Mr A, this is your post.

I think the only answer is to continually complain (e-mail so you have a record), keep a diary of failings by the agency to present to your LG. Tell your Council they are putting your family at risk and if anything happens to your family they are liable. They won’t like that…