06 Who will be my carer?

The idea of inviting a stranger to live with you or your loved one at home may feel like a daunting prospect, but a live-in carer sensitively and seamlessly supports the lifestyle and routines in the home with minimal disruption.

Once you’ve decided to arrange live-in care, your care agency will match a live-in carer based on everything from personality and lifestyle to level of support and their specialist training.

Your care provider will introduce you to a selection of live-in carers and they will be able to offer their advice and guidance about which carer would be the best match for you. Sharing your home with a carer can be a daunting prospect, so selecting a carer should be more than a box-ticking exercise. Your care provider should judge a potential carer’s compatibility by matching not only their specialist training and experience, but also their personalities and preferences. By matching live-in carers to clients based on routine, personality, medical needs, experience, even shared interests and activities, you’ll have the best opportunity to find a carer who fully understands you and your lifestyle.

How safe is it to invite a carer I don’t know into my home?

There are several statutory steps which must be undertaken by a care provider when they’re recruiting new carers. Safety is of absolute importance, not only for the person receiving care, but for their loved ones and carers themselves. All care providers require potential candidates to complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (previously called an enhanced criminal records check and some care providers will require a supplementary check called an Adults first check.

Different care providers will have different requirements and procedures throughout their recruitment process. Candidates are usually asked to complete an application which is assessed and shortlisted candidates are usually invited for an interview where their communication skills including fluency in English, their experience and qualifications and most importantly their compassion and suitability for a care position are assessed. Some care providers such as Trinity Homecare also require all candidates to complete a further personality assessment. These assessments have certification from the British Psychological Society and help to show how a candidate’s personality characteristics and if they would be a suitable match for you or your loved one.

After a candidate has been approved to begin the training process, they will not be officially recruited until they have demonstrated satisfactory knowledge and skills during an induction and assessment.  It’s a statutory requirement that any carer received Care Certificate training.

The course is delivered through a mixture of classroom training sessions, group discussions, workbooks, online learning and practical supervision. This training is led by a qualified trainer and includes a range of modules covering (but not limited to) duty of care, working in a person-centred way, communication, privacy and dignity, fluids and nutrition, dementia, safeguarding, basic life support, health and safety, administering medication, handling information as well as infection prevention and control.

Ongoing assessments are usually arranged by the care provider to supervise live-in carers in your home to ensure they are maintaining the high standards of care that you deserve. Live-in carers are also required to participate in ‘update training’ which ensures that their knowledge and skills are compliant with the latest policies and procedures.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC)

An independent body, The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates all health and adult social care services in England, which includes home care providers, care homes, local authorities, charities and the NHS. “The CQC makes sure that essential common quality standards are being met where care is provided, from hospitals to private care homes… The CQC’s aim is to make sure better care is provided for everyone, whether that’s in hospital, in care homes, in people’s own homes or elsewhere.”

The procedures and guidelines set by the CQC monitor standards of recruitment, training and client’s experiences to ensure care providers are achieving and maintaining high standards of care.

Only managed live-in care services are regulated by the CQC. Registered organisations are periodically inspected and reported upon by the CQC to ensure that the services they provide continue to be “safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led”.