Choosing a care provider and receiving support

You may have some care providers in mind, to decide which ones will best meet your needs you should meet them face to face and visit any facilities (if appropriate).

Checklist for choosing a care provider

  1. Note your first impressions. Initial conversations with your support provider will be a good indication of future relationships.
    1. Does the provider do what they promised?
    2. Did they get back to you when they said, or can you get hold of them when they say you can?
  2. Talk to other people using the service, are they happy with the support they are receiving? If appropriate, observe the interaction between carers and service users.
  3. If you are attending a centre or meeting within the community what transport arrangements are available to you?
  4. Does the care provider practise person-centred care? Person-centred care is:
    1. Providing support to meet your personal wishes and needs.
    2. Respecting your views on what’s best for you, understanding and supporting your values and priorities in life.
    3. Enabling you to recognise and develop your strengths and abilities, so you can live the most independent and fulfilling life possible.
    4. Getting to know you as a person and actively involving you in care-related decisions.
  5. If you are planning on day centre or residential care what sort of activities are provided, would you enjoy them?
  6. Check if you can have a trial period or session(s).
  7. Check how they will develop your support package. They should develop a person-centred plan with you, and you should receive an agreement that sets out your support.
  8. Check how your support will be monitored – and changed if necessary.
  9. Can the service provider meet your needs if they increase?
  10. Check the price and what it includes.
  11. Check the staff who will be supporting you.
    1. Are all staff checked with the Disclosure and Barring Service?
    2. Your support provider should arrange quality staff that will support you based on your individual needs.
    3. Do the staff receive appropriate training?
    4. Find out if you will have a keyworker, if so, meet them and see if you think you will get along with that person.
  12. Check how they will make sure you are safe and supported properly.
    1. Check your provider is registered with the appropriate regulatory body and what other quality tests they carry out.
    2. Can you see a copy of the service provider’s registration certificate and quality rating? E.g. CQC or QAA
  13. Check your right to complain. Who do you contact if things go wrong?
  14. Check how you can end your agreement. Find out if any notice period is required.

Reviewing support and progress

Once you have started receiving on-going support from your chosen care provider, they should carry out a review of your support (sometimes called a ‘person-centred review) to ensure it is meeting the needs identified in your care plan. Your review should be led by you and involve your family, if appropriate.

If your local council has arranged support for you, they must review your care plan within a reasonable time frame (usually within three months). After this, your care plan should be reviewed at least once a year or more often if needed.

If at any time you feel that either the service you are receiving or your care plan doesn’t support your needs, contact the adult social services department of your council to ask for a review.