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We are looking to employ a carer direct..... Advice ? - Carers UK Forum

We are looking to employ a carer direct..... Advice ?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
OK, just to give readers a brief understanding to our situation....

Our 17yr old son is 24/7 fully dependant due to his severe Quadraplegia Cerebral Palsy, he can't walk, talk, we blend his food which we feed him and we do his personal care....

He is at school for the next 2yrs

I'm stepdad and have been with mum and Ryan for the last 7yrs and have 3 children of my own, 15, 18 & 25 all boys.... The two youngest live with mum some 80 miles away.

Ryan is an only child and his father left the scene a few yrs ago with no contact since.

Our life is getting a little harder as Ryan is growing up, his demands are far greater and we find ourselves continually exhausted.....

I have my own business which runs mainly from home and my wife now stays home for Ryan....We did have a little respite an hour each morning Mon-Fri where an agency came to help with Ryan but they often let us down so after various meetings the local authority (Rochdale) who are budget bound and penniless it seems, decided to pay us directly to try and get some outside care in which we have managed to do via a couple of T.A's we know from Ryans school....of late they themselves have ended up letting us down, changing weekends due etc so as things stand we have now not had a break for some 2 months and we are literally running on empty....

So...I'm thinking of biting the bullet and employing a full time carer to either solely care for Ryan around certain hrs daily and every other weekend, staying in our home when we are not here.... Or even employ a carer to live in ???

Has anyone recently gone down this path ? Currently we pay £8 per hour INC nightsits ie; if our current person comes here at 4pm Friday till 4pm Saturday they are paid 24hrs x £8 = £192.

My wife (understandibly as he's still her "baby") will NOT put Ryan in respite, home etc...no matter how good people say they are !!!!!

Regards in advance

Looking at similar prospects myself Chis. Caring for my son 24/7 he is 23. Being forced to look at prospects as a sole carer, if anything happens to me, the situation will be dire. It seems that although lots of support workers are my age and older, I am expected to prepare him for my demise at 46 years of age.

It will be very hard for your wife to 'let go', mothers don't let go, the attachment we have to these special needs child is very interdependent, so strong, we have to feel this way I believe to provide the care required.

There are no easy answers or solutions, we would all choose them if there were.

Kind regards
I understand your thoughts..... We've resigned ourselves to knowing that we have to juggle and fight for anything..... Carers....good ones...are themselves very special indeed.
Phone the more specialised national agencies, as your son is quadraplegic and ask them what they do, how they operate, fees, the kind of PAs they employ (nationality etc etc), their training procedures, back up for you, what's their stance if you/your wife/your son doesn't get along with the PA's etc, what's their rota/change over times. Tell them exactly WHAT it is you need a PA to do (personal care - washing/toileting/bowel/bladder care/feeding/clothing/teeth brushing/shaving/moving/how many hours a day you need them to come in etc etc etc - EVERY SINGLE DETAIL) and get them to send you it in writing. Do that with a number of them and compare. They may even come to your home and visit you and your wife and son, to see for themselves what may be involved and to discuss things further. Just tell them that you are on a fact-finding mission initially, they won't mind.
Don't know if you're on Direct Payments, but they should cover this need.

Employ self-employed PAs, where YOU (Direct Payments) pay them directly, but being self-employed they do not get paid for holidays/sick etc and they pay their own tax. Pros for this are that YOU can pick and choose which people to use and don't have to do much paperwork Cons for this are that you have no back-up when things go wrong and will have to check their CRBs/eligibility to work in UK/qualifications/references yourself. And will have to find two, to cover for when one isn't working with you.

Remember: getting outside help is like any other job. You may not find the right person straight away, but when you do, they can be very helpful and ease the burden.

Hope this helps. PM me if you don't know any national agencies or where to find PAs. It's a bit of a minefield, BUT worth it for the help it'll give you when you find the right person.
We employ staff directly. There is helpful advice and support available from various agencies. Criminal records checks are easy enough. We use a Payroll software programme called MoneySoft Payroll manager, which does all the paperwork for us including wageslips, tax and NI etc, and use Fish insurance to cover employers liability. Its not really that complicated, though there are some obvious pitfalls for the unwary, and helpful advice on employment matters is available from eg. SPAEN (in Scotland where we live, I don't know the English equiv.) http://www.spaen.co.uk/
Stunning lack of advice on this thread. I would have hoped carers would have some positive constructive advice, anyone!
Magicfairy, I'd like to give a bit of positive uplifting advice but at the moment I'm having another round of problems with my son's care provider.
Hi, hope I can help.

I am a 30 something carer to my partner who suddenly took ill and became registered disabled 5 years ago. He needs 24 hour care. We were both university graduates and into several years of our future careers. So when he became ill it was a huge blow as it would be with anyone.

5 years down the line, with direct payments, I am able to continue in my full time job and carer whilst I have a personal assistant at home with my partner.

The reason we chose direct payments (with a managed account) was so that we could recruit a person not an agency. By having a person it meant that my partner felt confident and reassured that the same person would arrive to look after him each day. Admittedly when the PA is on leave or off sick, I have to arrange cover with a family member or I cover it myself but it is only 18 days a year so not too much to plan my own annual leave around.

We love the personal approach of hiring a carer in this way, and by opting for a fully managed direct payment account, we do not have to worry about wages, insurance, entitlements, tax, mileage claims, advertising and recruiting, interview guidance (our account manager attended all interviews to help us), job descriptions, contracts etc... That is all done for us, all we have to do is comprise a brief day to day job description (as only you know what you want them to do) before hiring and send in the worked hours once a month.

If the PA has any HR enquiries he goes to the account managers not us. The other benefit of a managed account is that they will source any new training your PA may require.

Our PA also hels with some small household duties as well, to make things easier for me when I come home from my full time job to my role as a carer.

Having a PA instead of an agency carer gives me the peace of mind that I know who is in my house and that the person there is fully trained and capable of looking after my partner, they know him, his tempement and his disability.

The only bad side is having to arrange cover on the days off which as mentioned before is not too difficult. but the greatest part is, I have some independence of being able to continue working, my partner has some independance because I am not caring for him all the time - he spends the day with his 'friend' /PA! And also we get to enjoy being partners and not carer / patient and we get to talk about what we have been up to that day as we haven't spent 24/7 together.

I hope this helps a little, I mean it works for me because I have found a good PA, but this is our 3rd PA in 4 years, his first PA was his mum, but she found it too much but this was a good introduction as he got used to the idea of having a carer, then we hired a young man who's wife had a baby and he needed more hours which we couldn't offer (we were so disappointed to say bye to him as he had been with us 18months). now we have a new PA who gets on so well with my partner it is more like a friendship but I know he is in safe capable hands. Both times we recruited the account manager helped us advertise, interview and hire. And I know this new PA hopes to stay with us for a long time as he doesn't like changing jobs (which is obvious in his CV).

Good luck on your journey
Also if you go for a managed account, they will process the crb for you too. And they can take as little time as two weeks now with Internet applications. I would always recommend ensuring any carer has been CRB checked within the last month or process one for yourself.
I used to use agency staff and found the following problems.
Lack of continuity
Although there was a detailed care plan they would do what they wanted rather than what was required
Lack of reliability
I started to employ carers about 10 years ago, I have continuity of care they understand what is required, there's no need to explain to a new carer.
I have been using the HMRC PAYE scheme and its has worked quite well, when they introduced RTI there were some teething problems with their systems but (touch wood) it appears to be working now.
I think that if you can find suitable staff you will be better of and the family will have a better quality of life.