Comments on Social Care, sent to Jeremy Vine BBC2 radio show, 13th February

My life, my home, my care, my choice
My life, my home, my care, my choice

There are companies who do offer the right type of care, Home Instead is one, of which I own with my partner Jenny. We offer a service that is designed around the client and their families to ensure consistency and continuity of care. The issue is not just that the care infrastructure is outdated, but that also the general delivery and commissioning is built on task, and companies price accordingly with premium prices for care that is less than an hour, which then leads to them short calling and calling cramming to make a margin etc. 

We do not operate in this way and will work with people for no less than an hour, we introduce the Caregiver to the client before the support starts and work closely with the families to ensure compatibility. This is not a popular approach as on paper we appear more expensive for an hour but we deliver an hour of care this is not cut short or includes travel times etc. as is common practice with traditional care agencies, we do not also charge a premium for care less than an hour, as we do not offer this service. 

The other main problem is making the public aware of companies such as ours as we do not contract with the councils for the very reasons above and discussed on your show. The government needs to work on how they can make this information available to individuals and their families, so they can make an informed decision and not one based purely on who is on a list. It is one thing the Government talking about, and promoting personal choice, but in our experience this is still limited to what the Local Authority deem is appropriate, and unfortunately this decision is based solely on cost and not quality - which begs the question ' Where is the choice in that?'

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home