Your support provider should arrange quality staff that will support you, your family and the person you care for based on your individual needs.

If you are employing a personal assistant / support worker directly then you need to make sure you do the necessary checks yourself.

They should also be able to direct you to additional services that will enhance your package of care, especially if they have a think care, think carer, think family approach.

What should I look for?

If you are buying support from a provider agency:

  • Check that all support workers have up to date criminal record checks. In England and Wales this is known as a DBS check, a disclosure Scotland check in Scotland and Access NI in Northern Ireland  If you are buying support from a provider agency you shouldn’t be charged for this.
  • Check that all support workers have up to date criminal record checks. In England and Wales this is known as a DBS check , a PVG check in Scotland and Access NI in Northern Ireland  If you are buying support from a provider agency you shouldn’t be charged for this.Check that staff training complies with, or exceeds, the legal requirements. For example staff should hold current certificates for manual handling, first aid and food hygiene as a bare minimum. New staff should also be properly inducted around care standards and best practice dictates that they should have spent at least 45 hours shadowing existing staff members before being able to provide care on their own.
  • Find out how staff will be trained to provide the support you and the person you care for need if they do not have the required skills, and specialist skills are needed such as peg feeding or tracheotomy cleaning for example.
  • Check that each staff member has regular supervision and a development plan that sets out their personal training requirements.
  • Check who pays for the staff training – and what will happen when your support worker is away being trained? Who will support you?
  • Check what additional services are provided to the carer and wider family, often free of charge to enhance their life and ensure they can maintain their own health and well being. These should be available if your provider of choice is thinking care, thinking carer and thinking family.

If you are employing a personal assistant directly:

  • You will need to carry out a criminal record check and you will need to pay for this yourself.
  • You will need to arrange and pay for any training and supervision that they need.
  • You will need to pay for any equipment and disposable items they need such as gloves and aprons for the delivery of personal care.

Find out more about personal assistants.

When my husband came out of hospital, he needed extra help with dressings and changing a colostomy bag. My support team were trained in how to do this which made things so much easier for me.

— Susan who cares for her husband who has bowel cancer