Arranging Homecare & Support

Choosing the right person or company to provide care and support for you or a loved one is not an easy decision. You need someone who is caring with the right knowledge and skills, someone you can rely upon and most importantly someone whom you can trust.

On these pages we guide you through some of the key points you need to be aware of when exploring different options.

Step 1: Make a list of the day to day activities you would like help with.

For example:

  • Having a good morning start to your day  -  getting up, eating a good breakfast and being ready for the day ahead
  • Companionship or someone to go shopping with or to take you to meet old friends
  • Collecting your medicines from the chemist, perhaps once a fortnight
  • Keeping your home the way you like it, clean and tidy
  • Doing the washing and ironing
  • Preparing nutritious meals
  • Bathing and settling in for a good night’s sleep

Or if you give care for your loved one, you may be looking for the right care worker to sit with them or even  stay overnight so you can get some well-earned rest.

Step 2: Consider how you will pay for the care and support

You may be entitled to financial help towards the cost of a care worker. Who pays and how much will depend the type and amount of care and support you need and the amount of money you have.

You can ask for a community care assessment from the adult social services department of your local council if you need help with essential day to day activities such as personal care, taking your medicines, having drinks and food etc. They have a duty to carry out an assessment of your care needs.

Someone, usually a social worker or care manager, from the adult social services department will visit you at home. They will ask about what you need help with and what you would like to achieve from your care and support. It is important to be aware that an assessment of ‘need’ may not be the same as assessing what you ‘want’.

The council has to decide whether or not you have ‘eligible’ needs. This refers to needs that can be publicly funded. If the local authority decide that you meet this criteria they will then carry out a financial assessment. The financial assessment will determine whether you are entitled to financial help towards the cost of care and if so, how much. 

See our ‘Help with Funding’ page for more information about how you can fund your homecare.

Step 3: Arranging care and support

The council may make arrangements on your behalf with private companies or charities to provide your care and support. Alternatively, you may be making your own arrangements to find a care worker. This might be because the council has:

  • Given you a personal budget to buy your own care and support
  • Decided that you do not meet their eligibility criteria
  • Because you prefer to arrange your care and support independently

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has clear guidance and advice for people who may need care services. You can find this online at:

Step 4 Deciding on a care agency or a personal assistant

If you are looking for care and support at home you need to decide whether you wish to directly employ a personal assistant yourself or if you want to use the services of a domiciliary care agency.

To give you an idea of the different responsibilities, we have produced a table that compares Bluebird Care services with employing a personal assistant yourself.

Bluebird Care

Employing a personal assistant yourself

Recruits suitable care workers and carries out rigorous checks, for example obtaining references, criminal records checks etc.

You are responsible for the hiring process. This includes advertising, interviewing, taking up references and appointment.

Employs care workers under agreed contracts and terms and conditions. These require care workers to follow our policies and procedures for providing safe care.

You employ the personal assistant which means you need to draw up an employment contract with appropriate terms and conditions.

Carries out an assessment with you to help you decide which services you want and how you would like these to be provided.

You decide which services you require from your personal assistant and how you want them to provide this.

Matches your requirements with a suitable care worker.

You decide if a personal assistant has the right skills, knowledge and personal attributes to provide your care and support safely and to protect your rights.

Arranges a timetable with you, setting out when the care worker will provide your service and for how long.

You need to agree the dates and times that your personal assistant will call. This means making phone calls and finding out what has happened if the personal assistant fails to show up.

Manages the payroll and deals with tax and national insurance.

As the employer you need to make appropriate deductions for tax and national insurance.

Has a comprehensive range of written policies and procedures which care workers are required to follow. These are designed to make sure each customer’s care and support is provided safely and competently.

You need to develop a written job description so the personal assistant is clear about the requirements of their role including the skills, experience and values they will need to have.

Consider what other written information they will need to make sure they carry out their duties correctly and in the way that you require.

Trains and supervises care workers. Failure to follow the correct working practices invokes Bluebird Care’s disciplinary procedure.

You are the boss and so you are responsible for managing performance and discipline. Make it clear from the outset what action will be taken if an employee breaches the agreed ways of working.

Carries out health and safety and risk assessments (checking to see what tasks you need help with and making sure they're carried out as safely as possible by the care worker)

You must consider what health and safety risk assessments are needed and decide who will carry these out.

Has professional liability insurance and has responsibility under Health and Safety law if the customer or care worker is injured in the course of their work

You must have adequate insurance cover in case of injury to the personal assistant or yourself.

Is responsible for finding other care workers to meet your needs. We have a team of care workers who are able to provide cover for holidays, sickness and other periods of absence or if your care worker leaves.

You should have alternative cover arrangements for when your personal assistant is on holiday or off sick from work. If your personal assistant leaves you will need to go through the recruitment process again.

There are organisations who can offer advice and guidance on employing your own personal assistant. This might include developing job descriptions, recruitment and training and information about your legal responsibilities. Some organisations may be able to handle parts of the employment process on your behalf, for example payroll.

Contact the Disability Rights UK Independent Living Advice Line

For further information on the above Telephone 0300 555 1525

Opening hours: Mon and Thurs 9.00 – 13.00


Choosing a safe and caring home care provider

Contact Bluebird Care (Bedford) to have a chat about the care and support we can provide for you.

We provide safe, high quality care tailored to your specific needs and wishes. We will respect your personal beliefs and how you choose to live your life and always treat you with the upmost dignity and respect. To keep you in control of your care and support, we will help you understand our service, listen to your views and agree what we can do and how we can provide the best service for you.

Our aim is to deliver what we promise and provide a consistent and caring service that you can rely upon.

Our services are registered with the national regulator for social care in each country in which we operate. They inspect and check the quality of our services to make sure that we provide safe and caring services that meet the requirements of the law.

The regulators across the UK are:

  • The Care Quality Commission for England
  • The Care Inspectorate for Scotland
  • Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
  • Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority for Northern Ireland

You can ask for a copy of our regulator’s inspection report by clicking on the link above. This will tell you about the quality of Bluebird Care (Bedford) homecare service.

We are also full members of the United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA). Both of these bodies have quality standards which set out how we should provide our service.

We are happy to visit you at home to discuss ways we can help and then, once you have decided, you simply leave the rest to us. 

How to find the right care for you or your relative

1. Find your local office

Bluebird Care delivers care from locally based offices, find yours to start your care journey today.

2. Get in touch with us

Fill in our call back form or give us a call to find out how we can help you.

3. Assessment

We’ll come out to you to find out what you or your loved one needs to help stay independent at home.

4. Care team chosen & care starts

You'll be cared for by our specially trained team to support you to remain at home for as long as possible.

Contact Us