Unreliable support workers


Registered User
Dec 5, 2003
I'm sure many of you will be familiar with this, so I'm really just looking for some advice as someone who never knows how to tackle these situations (although I work as a volunteer advocate for MIND and do it on other people's behalf frequently!).

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have just started (yesterday in fact) having someone come in to assist with washing and dressing in the mornings as my Mum works full-time and is finding things increasingly difficult. This morning, however, was a no-show, and when we rang the agency (whom the Social Worker herself says they call 'Crimewatch' instead of 'Carewatch') they said someone should have come and could someone come now - although by then it was too late. They also turned up at 11am for dinner yesterday too. Am I just being overly fussy here?

I work part-time for Crossroads and know they would never do this.


Registered User
May 20, 2004
Definitely not over fussy! If they accept the contract then they should have the capacity or resource to provide their service within the agreed timeframe. It is not your problem if they have taken on too many clients or have staff upon whom they cannot depend. Start as you mean to go on!

On another note of caution - and this is a very sad one as there are many wonderful care staff out there - don't blindly trust that the staff supplied are honest. My friend has just had a dreadful experience of having (after taking advice from the police) had a camera installed which recorded a particular carer taking cash from her Nan. They had been unwilling to accept there may have been a problem and had - as one does - made every excuse under the sun as to what might have been happening to the money over a long period of time (Nan being confused/generous/unable to communicate etc). Finally the police were involved but there is no guarantee of a conviction and the agency have made some pretty dodgy requests since which make us all very suspicious of who/how many people were involved. If the SW referred to them as Crimewatch then maybe there was meant to be a warning in there somewhere. It has been all the worse as the carer on the film was her Nans favourite!

Keep it on a professional level, demand what is being paid for and complain like crazy if the service falls short.



Registered User
Apr 14, 2008

I just wondered whether anyone had seen the Panorma programme the other week which featured under-cover care workers, from the same company mentioned above?

They have just started a package for Mum, and although the individual carers are all quite nice, there are some issues that concern me, eg late calls, not always checking meds taken, lots of different carers, etc.


Registered User
Jul 22, 2008

Yes I watched it. Dont htink they were carers under neath it was the presssure from greedy agency owners that put to much on them and they couldnt do their job properly.This care business needs an enquiry. It should have been left in the hands of the LA, at least the staff were paid properly and hopefully managed better. The councils got rid of the responsibilty to save costs.
Prague 09


Registered User
Jul 20, 2008
Hello Emma

I don't think you are being fussy at all. The Panorama programme was excellent and because of seeing this programme I now think that all complaints should be put in writing and if the agencies are then bombarded with complaints - it might help bring about change. Is there any chance of changing agencies to one more reliable?



Registered User
Apr 12, 2009
in same situation

my dad has had carers for 7 weeks.for the first two weeks i had to complain every day.now its down to once or twice a week.they come when they feel like it,and do what ever they want.a meal call takes them no more no more than 7 mins.one of the carers dosent even speak to him,just barks orders at him.if i can be there when the carers are around i am,i watch what they do ,and what time they arrive and leave.
my advice is to monitor them as much as u can,leave them notes to do things,and complain to the office any time something is wrong.if things dont pick up,then tell the social worker u refuse to have them,she will then have to use another agency.
u can also get direct payments to employ rour own staff.(which is the route i am now going down.takes a while to set up.but if we can employ staff we have picked and trained ourselfs ,then hopefully our loved ones will be better looked after.xx


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Can I just point out to everyone that this thread was started in 2005! So by all means address posts from AuntieP onwards, but ignore the beginning of the thread.