Two care agencies at the same time

Has anyone used two different care agencies at the same time?

There’s an issue with the current agency not being able to fullfill the days needed because the staff won’t come out here more than once a week. The days we do get are okay most of the time but I’m wondering is it even possible that two different agencies could provide care to one person just on different days? It seems the sensible solution to me but before I open a can of worms I just wondered if it’s possible, what experiences anyone has to how well it works etc?

Sorry to be such a nusiance.

I suggest buying a diary to use. When I was having to deal with a whole team of therapists and doctors on behalf of my cared for relative, I often used a diary to jot down important info. At each appointment, I sat there quietly taking notes and writing down details.
Do you have a calendar or not? What about the notes app on your phone (if you have a iPhone)? Having a binding record of the discussion for my own notes definitely helped. As for using two different care companies, I unfortunately have no experience so hopefully someone else will be along to advise you.
Make sure that you carefully vet the staff though. All care providers should automatically insist on full DBS checks on all care staff hired by the provider. It is also a good idea to have a short list of questions to ask as well about training and so on like you would for a care home.

Day’s they cannot attend etc always logged etc It’s not so much keeping track of when they don’t come but sorting the situation so somebody can come as this care agency are unable to find the staff I was wondering if the day’s they cannot do could be filled by another agency as it’s always the same two day’s each week. There seems to be no way of altering it either as staff refuse to come more than once a week and there’s not five members of staff to cover one visit each.

Speak to both care providers tomorrow and see what they say. Take notes.

Hi Sal
Yes I did. In my case the excellent day time carers couldn’t provide anyone for the bed time run as Mum needed double carers for I sourced another company just for that visit.
Be prepared for procedures to differ a bit and prices per hour too. (Especially at Christmas). Also there might be a bit of ‘sniping’ between teams. ‘They didn’t do this or that’ kind of thing which you just have to cope with as it occurs but it can keep both teams on their toes.
My mum’s carers left a folder in her room which contained written notes of their care that day.
I would have a friendly chat with the manager of the company who provides the care now and ‘ask their advice and help’. (People respond well to being consulted). Make sure that they are not going to do anything nasty like withdraw because another company is involved. Ask whether there would be any objection to the ‘fill in’ carers reading the notes (if that is the practice). Ask whether they would recommend any other company (unlikely but you never know).
Then find another company and be upfront. Ask the same questions. Second company might push for the full week caring, so hint at maybe but make no promises. However they might exceed the first so keep that as an option.
My Mum was partially self funding at we had direct payments, so I was more in control than if she had been completely through SS. Might make a difference but I haven’t that answer.

Unfortunately things have escalated with the current agency and I have no patients left for this farce. Apparently they still have no carers to cover us and yet we have been introduced to new carers who do not work the days they do not have enough staff. Apparently on the 2 out of 5 days they can find someone its going to be at 12.30 and one of those days the carer will only do 45min despite social services paying for an hour.

Somewhere along the line someone is either playing me for a fool or lying to me. It’s time to ditch the care agency and take some control over the situation.

I had wondered if I can do direct payments and use an agency so the fact that you have is useful.

I am not concerned about Christmas or bank holidays…we always cancel those anyway as they tend to ring on the day with a sob story about staff shortages etc and I got fed up with them always finding a reason on the day to avoid sending someone besides which as Christmas if it means staff get home a tad quicker to their families then that’s good it also gives them more time for those they must do.

The sniping between teams could not be as bad as the toddler behaviour we currently get…it reminds me of gangs in the playground or a soap opera where one person is the ring leader of trouble and the rest either follow or are dictated to if they are liked…if they are not liked they are picked on/bullied, not spoken to by other staff even during a double up until they leave.

In an ideal situation I would like a transition period to another agency which is how I came up with the two agencies then if the new one was good I was hoping to switch to them totally. Unfortunately due to the ongoing situation trust is failing between us and the current agency and nan is struggling with the carers who do come because they say they are happy to come but the agency says they are not…clearly someone is not telling the truth but who?

I have a carers review next month I am hoping they can point me in the right direction as we are currently going round in circles and have been for the last two months.

I hope I haven’t been too blunt but I fear my tolerance for this farcical charade has come to an end and it is showing. I genuinely do not mean to be mean/blunt or rude sorry.

Hi Sal,
This is how Direct Payments worked for me, although I understand some people find difficulties.
I had to open a new dedicated bank account into which the direct payments were made. I had to make sure the money in that account was used solely for the payments for carers. (Nothing else. Could not pay the gas bill,for example, even if I put the money back).
I had to keep all invoices from the Care Company and bank statements showing payments.
Periodically my accounts were audited. And checks made.
If the monthly allocated money hadn’t been used up on ‘Care’, it would have to have been paid back. (Not added to next month’s)
When the ‘bills’ from the Care companies exceeded the allocated amount I had to transfer money from Mum’s account to make up the difference. (Bear in mind she was only partially funded from SS).
So if Mum was paid for 20 hours of care at the rate the council allowed, and the company I had chosen to use charged more (as they do for self funding/private clients) Mum had to pay the difference into the bank account.
If I chose to use that Care Company for 25 hours that week, the same applied.

The advantages were that I could hire/fire a company I had chosen and negotiate the hours. I would not pay for an hour if only 45 minutes were used. (I was close by and around so able to keep a check on such things.) With notice I could cancel and not be charged.

The disadvantage is that the hourly rates are more and I had to keep clear and correct records. I also had to source a care company.

So you have to discover the rates you would be charged as a private client of your chosen company and see how far the payments Mum receives would go towards the hours she has been allocated as needing by her Needs Assessment. There will be a short fall. Mum’s attendance allowance may go some way towards the difference but can she afford to contribute more if needed? You should not pay anything yourself.

Your current Care company sounds awful. I was lucky in mine and Mum was very fond of her regular carers. I was luckily able to build a good relationship with the Manager, the OT and the SW, also arranged meetings between them to discuss Mum’s needs with her, myself and a regular carer.
It was not smooth going all of the time but so much better than your experience so far.

To be fair I am having a hard time getting anyone to even admit there is a fault. Social Services know they are not fullfilling all the hours but as “they are the best agency in the area you are to stay with them”. Hmm how is the best agency around only managing 2 out of 5 hours?

Making up a financial short fall would be very difficult but I’m now at the point where by its not negotiable.

With the direct payments I have no issue with the paper work, that doesn’t bother me. I’m very organised, very thorough and obsessed with having everything filed in it’s correct place. I have a separate bank account that could easily be used. Nothing about the paperwork side bothers me I just need to find a way to make social services realise that the God like agency aren’t anything like that at all.