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direct payments & care costs - Carers UK Forum

direct payments & care costs

All about money
hello, im hoping that someone can help with advice.

we have just started direct payments for my mum who has Alzheimer's, according to her care plan she is entitled to four visits per day 7 days a week. I am to care for her for breakfast and lunch and an outside agency is to do a tea time call and a back to bed call at an hour each.

before starting direct payments we had been told that she is entitled to all care costs being covered, but while looking at all the costing's they are giving her £13 per hour for agency calls, which is not enough to cover the cost of the care agency. we have had to find an agency ourselves that will call after 8pm but they charge £22 hour and £24 at a weekend.

my query is if we have been informed care costs are covered why have they limited the price for agency fees.
we can find a cheaper one that cared for her before starting direct payments but there last call is 8pm which is far to early for her to go to bed, also they were paid for hourly visits and only stayed around 20 minutes.
thanks.
Hi Denise
It's because the care agencies (who take on SS work, in that SS arrange for the care company and pay themselves, so that you don't have any control over the funds or the choice of company,) sacrifice a percentage in order to have regular, guaranteed work. Remember the actual carers are paid minimum wage. However your costs are at least £10.00 an hour more expensive than mine were. Also look out for Bank Holidays, especially Christmas because they usually charge double. (Easter coming).
There should be a care plan in place and the carers should be filling in a form at the end of each visit to record what they have done in their time. If the carers consider that they have covered everything and have to get to the next call some distance away, they are more than likely to leave early. You should have some 'clout' if you are in charge of paying them and can make a complaint. You have the threat of being able to change companies.
My mum's day carers were brilliant but the company were unable to take on her bed time calls because she wanted to go to bed after 9pm. The company I employed at night were less good and would leave as soon as they could. However I didn't make too much fuss as long as everything was done according to the plan, that Mum was comfortable and settled and hadn't felt rushed. I did have a little sympathy that the girls had been working since 7am and had families of their own to go home to. However I soon made a fuss if I felt all wasn't right and I insisted that day time calls were to full time.
There's nothing to stop you employing more than one agency. You hold the purse strings and are employing them so you can demand value for money. I used to make unexpected drop in visits when the girls were there, just to check and let them know that someone was overseeing them. In fact the managers should be making unexpected visits too, to check on their own staff.
As for the costs. Mum's direct payments didn't cover the full cost either. She had to top up, but not by that much.
It's a post code lottery indeed.
KR
E.