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Choosing a home care provider: What's the difference?

Choosing a home care provider is one of the most important decisions you'll make for yourself or your loved one.

The option you select will determine how the arrangement is administered, and could impact on the quality of care you receive.

Here, we'll look at some of the things you should think about when choosing a home care provider:

Key considerations for choosing a home care provider:

These are the four main factors that differentiate home care providers:

1. Type of provider

You can divide home care providers into two primary groups; introduction agencies and employment businesses.

An introduction agency maintains a roster of self-employed carers. It generally charges a fee for introducing you to a live-in carer it recommends. This carer will stay for a limited period (usually up to eight weeks).

Introductory agencies aren't usually regulated, meaning they’re not subject to external quality or safety standard audits.

Employment businesses, such as The Good Care Group, are fully regulated. This means we must comply with, or exceed, quality and safety standards set out by national care bodies.

The Good Care Group is an employment business that goes beyond the basics, offering a fully managed live-in care service.

We assign every client a dedicated Care Manager and Regional Manager. The Care Manager will accompany the assigned carer on their first day of service, check in regularly to ensure everything's running smoothly and be on hand 24/7 for any ad hoc queries.

This proactive approach helps give those receiving care, and their loved ones, absolute peace of mind.

2. Training and selection

Standards of carer selection and training vary greatly across the home care sector.

Some home care providers take a hands-off approach, requiring only basic certification to take carers onto their books, and providing few ongoing training and development initiatives.

The Good Care Group takes on just 5% of applicants who apply for a carer position and has developed a training process that extends far beyond regulatory requirements.

Carers continue to receive specialist and refresher training while on placement, as well as mentoring from a Regional Care Manager.

Unlike other live-in care providers, we continually invest in the professional development of our carers, enabling us to cultivate a motivated, experienced and loyal workforce. This includes professional training and mentoring from a Regional Care Manager.

We recognise that the quality of our staff defines the quality of our service. That's why we offer a range of incentives to ensure we recruit the most talented people.

We also invest in care innovation, taking steps to implement new systems that support information sharing and other related processes. These standards allow us to deliver exceptional continuity of care, based on an in-depth understanding of our clients’ needs and preferences.

3. Industry standing and participation

Home care providers are assessed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and derive much of their reputation from their standing within the industry.

The majority of the UK's approximately 1,120 care providers (675) are ranked as 'good', while 424 fail to meet this standard altogether.

The Good Care Group is among the top 2% of care providers, having been ranked 'outstanding' by CQC. The company has supported the NHS in providing insight for influential white papers, as well as working with leading charities, including:

  • Dementia UK
  • Alzheimer’s UK
  • Parkinson’s UK
  • Contented Dementia Trust
  • MS Society
  • Stroke Association

Through our association with these charities, and ongoing professional development initiatives, our careers are able to utilise a high level of medical expertise, most notably in the field of dementia

We can support complex conditions such as this, in a safe and supportive way within the home environment - helping to improve the well-being of our clients.

4. Client feedback

Ultimately, client feedback should be key in choosing a home care provider.

In many cases (especially among introductory agencies), the quality of care you or your loved one receives will depend on the individual carer, meaning feedback is often variable.

The Good Care Group works tirelessly to ensure the highest possible standards for clients, and welcomes the consistently high standard of feedback received.

Our service puts your quality of life at its centre, with specialist staff and processes to support condition-specific needs and personal preferences.

Use these four factors as a basis for choosing a home care provider, and ensure you select the option that best supports your independence and overall well-being.

Find out more about how The Good Care Group will strive to maintain the highest care standards for you or your loved one by speaking to our friendly team.