If I ask for your help, does that mean I’ll be losing all my independence?
Not at all. We only get involved as much as you want or allow. We will meet with you at the outset to discuss your requirements and then tailor our service to your needs.
I’m having a stay in hospital, can you help me when I come out?
Yes, of course we can. However you need us to help, we will be there for you. You control the extent to which we’re involved and we are used to helping out for short periods of convalescence. We can also provide longer term care or support if you need it. We can arrange a visit before you go into hospital to discuss your care needs. We can also arrange to be there when you come home. The service is entirely flexible.
I’m not particularly well off – is it really impossible to have home care and afford to stay in my own home?
There are a number of financing options available that don’t involve you having to sell your home. The philosophy of Westminster Homecare is to provide the right level of tailored services to enable you to stay in your familiar surroundings rather than a formal care environment. You can start by meeting the costs out of normal income, pensions and allowances (depending on the level of help required). Click to visit the Funding Your Care page.
Is there any government funding I can investigate?
The Government and local authorities provide financial assistance, advice and other forms of support to elderly, sick and disabled people who need help with their personal care or nursing. Assistance may vary between different areas of the UK. Click to visit the Funding Your Care page.
Will I have the same carer?
There is generally a team of carers working within each area, and you may have one or more carers visiting you from within this team. If your care is spread out throughout the day or the week, more than one carer is likely to visit you. This tends to work better as there will be less disruption to your service when one is away on scheduled or emergency leave.
Is there a vetting process in place for job applicants?
We are an equal opportunities employer and we actively encourage diversity in the workplace. We do not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age and offences previously committed that do not create a risk to children and vulnerable adults. For successful applicants, we do request a criminal records disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which will highlight previous criminal records, to assess the suitability of applicants for employment in positions of trust.
How do you ensure that carers are suitably qualified?
Our management team is highly skilled in the provision of care and we have been providing a high quality care service locally since 1993. We hold the qualifications necessary to support all carers in undertaking an intensive training programme and in achieving the standards required by the Care Quality Commission (see our excellent results by viewing the CQC Reports for Westminster Homecare. There is ongoing training and development to ensure the continued competence and capability of each member of the care staff.
Is Westminster Homecare registered with the appropriate bodies and professional associations?
Yes, we are registered with the Care Quality Commission and are subject to regular inspections.
What tasks can your carers do?
Our care staff can carry out a variety of tasks to meet your needs and help you to maintain your independence. This includes personal care, washing, dressing, meals, help with medication, domestic duties including cleaning and laundry, and general support.
What are they not allowed to do?
Our staff are not allowing to give injections or apply sterile dressings. They are also not allowed to carry out heavy lifting, climb ladders or steps.
How do I pay for my care?
You can pay for your care by direct debit, cheque or debit card. You will be invoiced either 2 weekly or 4 weekly in arrears, depending on your local office arrangements.
What is the minimum time I can book?
The minimum visit time you can book is 30 minutes. But you can have shorter check-up visits if you book one of our planned care packages.
What is included in the cost?
The cost includes the care worker’s pay, travel time and urban mileage. It does not include mileage or parking costs for rural clients, shopping, appointments and escorting which will be charged extra. Rural travel costs will be determined by proximity to local office and staffing, and will be discussed at the initial assessment.
How do you manage quality?
We ensure our staff are fully trained in accordance with the regulations and many have additional qualifications. We use regular customer feedback to help us ensure we are providing a quality service. This includes telephone checks, monitoring visits and customer surveys to ensure you are satisfied with the service. We also have a robust complaints procedure and all complaints are dealt with promptly. We also have staff regular staff supervisions.
How will my carer know what to do?
When a new customer requests the service, our supervisor or manager will visit them to assess their care needs and prepare a detailed care plan which outlines what their requirements are. This care plan is kept in the Service User Book which stays in the home. Care staff record visit activities and other information for the next care visit. The Care Plan is also kept on file at the branch office.
Can I include extra services such as shopping?
Yes. We carry out shopping trips either for you or with you if you are able to travel. We work out the shopping list with you and discuss alternatives if items are not available. We keep a record of all financial transactions in the Service User Book.
What if I need someone to stay longer?
Our care staff usually visit a number of people on a service round. If you need them to stay longer and you know this in advance, you can call the office who will try to rearrange their rounds. Alternatively, the care worker will call the office if the need to stay longer is urgent. If the need is not very urgent, we try to arrange a later visit at a time when they or another staff member are available.
What if I am not happy with a carer?
We encourage customers to let us know as soon as possible if they are not happy with the carer and why, so that we can discuss matters with the carer or arrange for an alternative carer.
Do I have to have two carers if I have a hoist?
This depends on a number of things such as the type of hoist used, whether the service user can stand up, and the home environment. Local authority policy almost always requires two care staff present when a hoist is being used and the care provider has to ensure that the care staff and the clients are not put at risk under the health and safety regulations. For this reason, we carry out a full risk assessment of the moving and handling tasks.
Can carers cook?
Carers can prepare basic meals if there is sufficient allowed in the care plan to do so. Our live-in care service carers will cook meals as part of the service. Many of our customers prefer to have a pre-cooked meal service where the food is delivered fresh or frozen and kept in the freezer until required. The carer will then assist with cooking and serving the meal.
Who employs the carers?
All our daily home care staff are employed by the company under PAYE and we take care of their pay, national insurance and tax.
Live-in care staff may either be on a self-employed basis or may be fully employed depending on the option agreed.
What are the benefits of having homecare?
The obvious benefit of homecare is that you will continue to live in your own home and familiar surroundings rather than have to live in a residential care home which is much more expensive and restricts what you are able to do. At home you can keep all your possessions around you and even keep your pets. Your friends and family can visit you without restrictions. You can have homecare to suit your budget and timetable. There is also less risk of illnesses that can spread in a residential environment.
What is the next step?
Simply contact the central number or the branch that manages the services in your area. Details are on the website. If we have daily homecare staff where you live, we will arrange a no-obligation assessment visit to discuss your care requirements with you and your family members and to discuss how the service works. Our live-in care service covers the whole of the South East.
What makes someone a successful Community Care Worker?
Having the right attitude! Hard work, knowledge and skill are all important but without the right attitude, it is very unlikely that someone will succeed as a Community Care Worker. Care work is tough – it is emotionally, physically and mentally demanding but for those who have the right attitude, it is the most incredibly rewarding job.
What do Community Care Workers do?
Our Community Care Workers visit clients in their own homes to provide the support they need to retain their independence.
The type of support provided is wide-ranging and includes:
- Helping them to get up and get dressed – ready for the day ahead
- Helping with showering, bathing and washing
- Helping with preparing meals
- Prompting, assisting or administering medication
- Helping with mobility which could include using equipment such as a hoist
- General domestic tasks such as laundry, cleaning and shopping
- Assisting with going to the toilet or helping clients to manage their continence
Many of our clients also like to share stories, have a laugh and a bit of banter with their carer. Again, this is where having the right attitude really comes into its own.
Why come and work with Westminster Homecare?
At Westminster Homecare we offer:
- A three-day training programme and regular update events to prepare you for the role of a carer working in the community
- The opportunity and support to achieve your Care Certificate
- Very competitive rates of pay with enhancements for working at weekends or if you have an NVQ or Diploma qualification in health and social care
- A variety of flexible work patterns available including early mornings, evenings and weekends
How do we organise the work rotas?
We provide care to our clients 7 days a week, 365 days a year and our peak times for care calls are:
- Early in the morning – our first calls of the morning start from 7am
- Around lunch and tea time
- In the evening – our last calls at night end around 10pm.
- We have a dedicated and enthusiastic team of Care Coordinators in each of our branches and it is their job to match the client demand for care calls with the care staff available.
To do this we will discuss your availability with you and use this to book you to client calls which are within your availability and within your capabilities.
It involves a lot of teamwork and regular communication between the Care Coordinators and our Care staff in order to plan work rotas which keep you fully occupied and minimises the amount of travel between clients – this is where the flexible approach really plays a part.
How long does the recruitment process take/how quickly will I start work?
In our experience, we can never have too many carers so it is in everyone’s best interest to get you on board as quickly as possible. Our friendly, dedicated Recruitment Team are there to guide you through the whole process.
Having said that, our carers will be working with vulnerable people, so there are a few steps which have to be completed before we are able to allow you out to work and they are:
- Receiving at least 2 references – one must be from your most recent employer
- Completing an Enhanced criminal records check/DBS
- Successfully completing your three-day training
- Successfully completing shadow shifts