Fully Managed Care Services vs Introductory Agency

Fully Managed Care Services versus Introductory Agency… what’s the difference?

For many of us, care is a sector we know little about until we’re at the point of needing it. Very often, we get asked why there is such a disparity in cost between different home care companies, especially as they are all promising the same service.

When shopping around for the right home care company, cost is a natural point of comparison. But it’s not enough to compare pay rates and nothing else; it’s crucial to understand what you’re getting from the service. The best place to begin is by establishing whether the care company is a fully managed care service or an introductory agency. Without understanding the difference, you simply aren’t comparing like for like.

A fully managed service means that the home care company manages everything for the person receiving care. An introductory agency finds a carer to support your needs but doesn’t manage them once you appoint them, which means the cost is often lower. It’s dangerous to opt for a company that is cheaper without considering any additional costs or shortcomings of the care package.

Opting for a fully managed service means being provided with the following:

  • Constantly trained caregivers: As caregivers are employed by the company, it’s in their best interests to ensure that staff have the skills and knowledge to perform the role effectively. That doesn’t just mean training them prior to appointment; it means keeping them skilled and competent on an ongoing basis.
  • Vetted caregivers: Full background checks, including Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) screenings, are carried out for you. There’s no need to check for necessary documentation, nor do you need to chase for references.
  • Caregiver backup: If your caregiver falls ill or is unable to make a care visit, the company will find a replacement. It’s their obligation to ensure that your care needs are met regardless of staffing issues.
  • CQC registered: The company is regularly inspected by the CQC to ensure that the standards of care are satisfactory. It’s an easy way of comparing different providers and identifying those with an “Outstanding” rating (like us at Home Instead Wandsworth, Lambeth & Dulwich) who can promise a market-leading service.

Choosing an introductory agency requires that you to carry out these checks yourself, and provides no assurance that constant and decent care provision, like that offered by a fully managed service, is guaranteed.

For many, care isn’t an easy purchase, especially when circumstances require it to be purchased in a hurry. It’s crucial not to jump straight to cost comparisons and establish what will happen after you’ve signed on the dotted line.

For further advice on this or any other care related matter please contact us on 020 8022 5240

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Home Instead Wandsworth CQC Outstanding