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Council Provided Care OR Private Care??

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Steve1310, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. Steve1310

    Steve1310 Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    16
    Basildon, Essex
    #1 Steve1310, Jul 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
    Hello
    My Father has had Council provided care since 2013 and we are on our second provider having served noticed on the first. I am currently considering this action again as the provider has become complacent, barely doing the minimum requirements of the care plan. I think they only real bit of work they do is the essay of lies relating to what they allege they have done during each visit!
    I hold LPA over my Father for both H&W and P&F and our social worker suggested I take full control of the care budget and employ the care company myself using Council funding. He further explained that I would get 'better control' over the company and they would be more likely to deal with my complaints swiftly? That in itself is a 100% advance on how complaints are dealt with at the moment. I'm so use to the "I'll get X to ring you back as they manage that area Sir and I'm afraid they're out on a visit at the moment"
    I'm thinking about it but I have a full time job which is demanding and am also a single parent and I really don't need the extra hassle of working gratis for Social Services!
    Having said that, if this method provides a better standard of care and it guarantees the care staff will actually remain in the house for the designated 30 minutes and adhere to the care plan, I might be pursuaded to give it a try?
    What are other users experience of Private over Council care, or has a switch like this proved to be nothing other than extra hassle and grief
    Many thanks
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,371
    Male
    North Manchester
    Just bumping the thread as I know others have experience of the topic.
     
  3. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    Hi Steve :)

    Bumping your post again. I was faced with a similar dilemma today. Mum has been having four visits a day from an agency and we've been paying privately. It's all worked out brilliantly and I really feel that the carers and myself are a team. In addition, when I phone their office, I get an immediate reply, and they are very responsive to my requests to amend the care plan, times of visits or whatever.

    Now, the point of this is that mum is now below threshold, ie we have to go via social services to get the same sort of care. We had the assessment visit today, and strong pressure was put on me to accept the care as an 'internal service', ie to relinquish that team role that I've had up to now. It was actually put to me that it would be less stressful for me to hand it over to them.

    I've given it a lot of thought, and have come to the conclusion that a lot of the stress of being mum's carer is actually caused not by her dementia, but by having to deal with all the bureaucracy, and struggling to make the system respond to her needs. So, I've decided not to go for the internal or council provided care. I've asked for a direct payment so that I can continue to have a close and direct working relationship with the care agency ( and with the individual carers). For me, the last thing I would want would be to always have to go through the council as an intermediary.

    I'm hoping this will work well. I'm sorry, as it hasn't started yet, I can't tell you how well it's worked. But I thought you might be interested in how I came to the decision.

    Good luck, whatever you decide :)

    Lindy xx
     
  4. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    Lindy50,

    Just out of interest will the direct payment be enough to be able give the same level of care?
    :)
     
  5. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    #5 bemused1, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
    It very much depends on the agency I think. We are self funding which is not quite the same, but I would say we actually get treated worse. Complaints are not dealt with and if you dare to get stressed beyond bearing by everything, you get punished by a reduced level of care.
    That is my personal experience and one agency.

    Lindy why is it that they feel they can do better than us? I remember you said you'd experienced care from both sides. Makes you even more uniquely qualified to know what's best for your mum
     
  6. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    164
    East Devon
    Hi Steve,
    Care is care and should be carried out properly and thoroughly whether private or council. I do think carers are not allotted enough time for each patient, this could be the problem, I f they are leaving early then you need evidence.
    I would ask the social worker why ,if you had full control , would they deal with your complaints more swiftly? Why not now ?
    I would complain now and ask for a reply within a certain amount of time. Then see if the care improves .
     
  7. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    Good point Pete!

    I don't have the actual figures yet for mum. However, I do know that our local authority pays an agency rate of £19 per hour, which is a flat rate to include weekends, bank holidays etc. As long as the co-ordinator's manager signs the plan off, we have agreed on the number of hours care. And the agency is one on the council's list.

    So...as I say, I have my fingers crossed that it should work out!

    It's not for everyone, but for me, being able to continue to play this role is important. I'd rather make up a small shortfall myself, than hand over responsibility for mum's care xx
     
  8. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    Bemused1, I'm sorry you have such poor experiences with the care agency. No way should they treat you or your loved one like that!

    Yes, I did work inside the system, and I'm sorry to say that there probably was a pervasive culture of 'nanny knows best'. Of course, in some cases, families did want us to take over, and in many others, there was no family, so we were truly responsible for our clients' welfare. Plus, when you spend all day every day assessing care situations, you have to convince yourself you have a level of expertise :rolleyes:

    The above is an explanation, not an excuse, though. I used to remind myself that the carers were the experts, and I was just there to enable them and their loved ones to be supported. I have always truly believed that, but I can't say that the majority of my colleagues did :(

    Lindy xx
     
  9. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    Do you want a job Lindy?
     
  10. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    #10 Lindy50, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
    :D

    Funnily enough, I loved my job and would go back in a heartbeat, if I weren't otherwise occupied now.....some days I really miss it xx
     
  11. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    Thanks for that.:) Didn't realise the figure was that high. Is that the same rate you will have to pay for the same agency?
     
  12. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    511
    Could I ask an additional question? If the council has agreed to make direct payments based on a certain number of visits per week, but family are able to cover weekends so that we don't need quite so many visits, what happens to the unused money each week? Is it lost forever, or can it be saved and used in the future?
     
  13. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    #13 Lindy50, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
    Not exactly. The agency charges less per hour ( about £17.50) but charges double time for bank holidays and time and a half for Sundays. That's why I need to look at the exact costings and how they work out over a period of say, a month :)

    If the DP comes out at an amount that won't cover costs, then I'll appeal it. Glutton for punishment, me? Never! :cool: x
     
  14. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    Hi arielsmelody :)

    I'd advise you to always check things like this with your social work / adult social care team, as they may have slightly differing procedures locally.

    In our case, if the situation you describe were to apply every week, they would reduce the assessed need and you'd lose the money. However, if you can cover some weekends, as I can, then I'm able to use the spare money for occasional extra weekday visits. The thing is, the payment is based on mum's needs, not on the exact number of visits, so all I have to show is that I'm spending the money on meeting her needs.

    If we don't use it all ( highly unlikely!) any surplus will be recouped at the end of the year. As a taxpayer, I'm perfectly happy with that.

    Hope this makes sense?

    Do fire away with any questions / comments :)

    Lindy xx
     
  15. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    511
    Thank you Lindy, that's really helpful.

    Sorry for asking more questions, but it's great to find someone who is looking at the same dilemmas as my family. We're at the stage where my MIL has recently been assessed as needing care, and the social worker keeps suggesting direct payments, but some members of the family are dead against it. I think their argument is that if she has been assessed as needing care the council must provide it, but if we accept direct payments that caps the amount they will give. We are thinking of using the same care agency that the council is using, so as far as I can see that financially and in terms of the care she receives it works out the same, there will only be a difference if we decide to use a different care provider. Does that sound right to you?
     
  16. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,287
    Cotswolds
    Hi again :)

    First of all, a direct payment arrangement should not cap what the council will provide. If your MIL's needs changed, you would ask for a reassessment and they should put in more care if needed ( ie in this case, increase the direct payment). Most councils will review the situation from time to time anyway, just as they would if care was being provided directly.

    Secondly, yes if you are considering using the same agency via direct payments, this would make little practical difference to MIL's care. You would potentially have a bit more flexibility to change visit times, or even use another agency, and that flexibility,or 'choice' is the main selling point of direct payments, I think.

    However.....if your family members are likely to disagree about these decisions, it might be more trouble than it's worth. Only you know your own family situation, and whether you'd be able to work together to maximise choice and therefore get some benefit from being on direct payments.

    It's different for me because I am the only one taking the decisions. It's a lot of pressure, but at least I don't have to persuade siblings or in-laws to agree with me.

    I hope this helps :)

    Lindy xx
     
  17. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    511
    Thank you! Yes, there are six close family members plus their partners all actively involved, and all upset and anxious at the moment, and it is great that she has so much support but it can bring its own problems.
     

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