Home Care

Home care is care delivered to you in your own home. Care can be provided by someone you live with who acts as an un-paid carer. However, care can also be provided by care professionals known as Carers.

Carers are employed by home care agencies to support people with daily living tasks such as washing, dressing and toileting. This form of home care is either paid for by the person receiving the care, or by the Council based upon an assessment of their care needs. This is different from home healthcare which is care provided by registered professionals such as community nurses, who support with various forms of medical treatment.

Do I really need home care?

You may need home care for a variety of reasons. As you become older, you may start to struggle with some aspects of your daily routine. This could include tasks such as washing and dressing or putting your socks and shoes on. It might also cover tasks such as housework, preparing meals or shopping.

The level of support needed will vary from person to person but it can range from minimal support such a short call to remind you to take your medication, to you needing support with every aspect of your daily routine.

If you’ve had an accident or operation you may need some support at home while you’re recovering. You may only need this for a short period and when you’re feeling better or recovered, you may decide you no longer need support. However, you may find that even when you’re fully recovered, you’re unable to return to the level of independence you previously had. You may then have to consider ongoing support to enable you to remain living in your own home.

You may already receive support at home from a partner, friend or family member who act as non-paid carers. Sometimes these carers are unable to continue in the role if they become unwell or develop their own support needs.

You may find yourself struggling to manage for a long time before you consider what support is available. Often people only consider accessing support when they reach a crisis situation. As a result you may need to consider moving to a care home or care home with nursing, but this may be prevented if you’re aware of what other support is available, and how to access that support before a crisis is reached.

This information is intended to inform and advise you of the options available to you, which will enable you to make the right decision for you.

Some of the options could be:

It’s sensible to explore all options open to you before considering a care home. Most people want to remain living in their own home for as long as they can. Other options open to you could be to consider moving to a seniors housing scheme or an extra care housing scheme.

Eligibility

If you, your family, friends or carers think that home care might best meet your needs then the Council can arrange an assessment to see if you’re eligible for help. We’ll carry out a needs assessment for people who appear to be in need of care and support, regardless of their financial status or whether we think that their needs will be eligible.

Home Care

There are a number of ways to find a home care provider.

Personal Assistants (PAs)

If you choose to employ a Personal Assistant, we can provide information regarding how to arrange this.

Possability People are a charity (formally known as The Fed), who provide free, independent information and support to everyone including disabled people, their carers, families and friends. They also provide a PA notice board service where people can be matched with potential PAs.

Support with Confidence is a joint initiative between Trading Standards and Adult Social Care to provide training and accreditation to people who want to work as PAs. For more information you can contact the Support with Confidence team: Email: supportwithconfidence@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call: 01273 292494.

Adaptations in your home

You can have adaptations installed in your home. This service is provided by CareLink Plus, Brighton & Hove City Council’s telecare alarm service. This service provides a range of services and equipment that can support you at home and when you're out and about by providing emergency assistance when you need it.

If you have a disability or illness and you're having difficulties carrying out activities of daily living we may be able to help. Our Occupational Therapists (OT's), Rehabilitation Officers for Visual Impairment (ROVI's) and support staff can assess your needs, advise and provide support through a range of services. We assist adults and their carers to live as safely and independently as possible.

Respite

It’s recommended that carers consider getting a break from the responsibility of looking after someone. Respite can range from just a couple of hours, for example to enable a carer to go out shopping, to longer periods of a week or more to enable a carer to go on holiday.A break may not mean being completely apart from the person you care for. You may choose to take a break with the person you care for with some additional support.

Care Homes

There are two main types of care home. These are care homes or care homes with nursing.

The local Age UK Information and Advice service offer general information and advice on care home issues and many other areas.

Quality

We recommend that you, your friends or family visit the websites of any home care providers you are considering using. If you wish to meet with a prospective home care provider, they can arrange to meet you at your home or at their offices.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates care services including home care. They provide free, independent reports on the quality of local home care services to help you make an informed choice. You can either search for a specific home care provider or find advice on how to access good quality care.

The CQC have also published a guide called What can you expect from a good home care agency? which can be downloaded or a paper copy ordered from their site.

Quality Monitoring Team (Council)

The Council’s Quality Monitoring Team supports the quality monitoring of homes care as well as care homes or care homes with nursing. The team’s role is to ensure good quality care is provided in services to keep people safe. They gather a range of feedback through e.g. complaints, concerns about a person’s safety and wellbeing and other feedback. Information is received from a variety of people such as members of the public, people who receive care, carers and family of people who receive care and various health professionals such as social workers and community nurses.

The team also works closely with other professionals including the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the CQC, to share information and build up a picture of ‘services of concern’.

Contact the Quality Monitoring Team by email: QualityMonitoringTeam@brighton-hove.gov.uk or Tel: 01273 295093.

Any information you share will be passed onto the relevant Commissioning Support Officer in the Quality Monitoring Team.

Reviews

If you receive a home care service which was arranged in partnership with you or on your behalf by Brighton & Hove City Council, you should expect to receive a review of the service. The initial review will be about 4 to 6 weeks after the service started, and then annually. You can see the reviewing your needs page for any questions or queries regarding the reviewing arrangements, or if you wish to discuss what you should expect regarding reviews conducted by Brighton & Hove City Council.

Poor quality care and making a complaint

Most people have a positive experience of home care but sometimes problems can occur and you may want to make a complaint. You could ask a friend or relative, a voluntary organisation or a charity to help you make your complaint.

Raising a concern can help improve the quality of a service. Many problems can be cleared up by having an informal phone chat with one of the branch staff in the office or the manager of the home care service. Alternatively, you can request to have a home visit to raise your concerns in person.

If you're not satisfied that the matter has been resolved after an informal chat, you may want to make a formal complaint to the home care manager. All registered home care providers must have a complaints policy and procedure, which should have been clearly explained to you when the service started. A copy of the policy and procedures should be included in the provider’s brochure which will be in your home care providers care folder.

You can make a complaint to the Council if the care you receive is funded or part funded by them. You can ask the Council for help to make a complaint, or ask them to approach a home care provider on your behalf. If you still can’t resolve a complaint, we can help you to change your home care provider or make different arrangements for your care.

Contact the Customer feedback team by Email: customerfeedback@brighton-hove.gov.uk or Tel: 01273 291229.

If you’re unhappy with the outcome of your complaint, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman even if you’re paying for your own care.

Safeguarding concerns

You may have concerns regarding the care you receive from a home care provider, or the care that someone else is receiving from a home care provider.

A safeguarding concern is about abuse or neglect of someone who is unable to protect themselves. If you’re concerned that abuse or neglect is taking place, please take immediate action by reporting it online or by calling the Access Point.

You can also contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 or in an emergency call 999.

Palliative and End of Life Care

Advance Care Planning

If you have a terminal illness, or are approaching the end of your life, it might be a good idea to make plans for your future care. Planning ahead in this way is sometimes called advance care planning, and involves thinking and talking about your wishes for how you’re cared for in the final months of your life.

Advance care planning is key to improving end of life care, to help living and dying, in the place and the manner of your choosing. The main goal in delivering good end of life care is to understand peoples’ wishes, needs and preferences and deliver care to best meet these needs.

NHS Choices End of Life Care Guide

The NHS Choices end of life care guide may be useful for people who are caring for someone who is dying, or for people who want to plan in advance for their own end of life care. It explains what you can expect from end of life care, including palliative care to control pain and other symptoms and psychological, social and spiritual support.

The guide also contains information about rights and choices, including refusing treatment, setting down wishes for future treatment and legal rights.

Palliative Care Partnership

The Palliative Care Partnership is a specialist team of nurses, doctors, occupational therapists and social workers, who aim to promote high quality holistic care for people living with and dying from life limiting illnesses. The service provided includes assessment of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs, as well as pain relief and the management of other symptoms. The team supports relatives and carers and provides expert advice to other health care professionals.

The Palliative Care Partnership also provides a 24/7 telephone line that is staffed by nurses to support patients, health professionals and the general public. They respond to queries and provide support when people are dying in the community.

The Palliative Care Partnership can be contacted on 01273 964164.

The people caring for you at home…their roles explained leaflet (PDF 362KB) gives details of professionals who work with people receiving end of life care in their own homes. 

Paying for home care

The cost of home care home will vary depending upon the level of care that you need. Always ask about costs when you're looking for home care.

If you're thinking about arranging a home care service, or someone in your family is helping you with this, you may decide to fund your own fees without contacting the Council. If this is the case, it is a good idea to get independent financial advice.

You should also check whether you are entitled to any funding from the NHS. This is called Continuing Health Care. You can find out more about Continuing Heath Care on the NHS Choices website. If you do not need financial assistance, you can choose any home care service no matter how much it costs.

Financial assistance

If you need financial assistance to pay for care, the Council will assess your needs and looks at your savings, property and income to decide what you may need to pay.