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Directly Employ or Agency Managed Support?

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Posted on 31st August 2011.

31 August 2011

Directly Employ or Agency Managed Support?

Contemplating  the decision as whether you manage your own care package or go down the more expensive agency route is a common one, so what do you really get for your money and what difference does it really make to the quality of support  you receive ?

1. PA Recruitment

Where are you going to advertise , how will you manage the process, how much will you pay for the ad. Do you need just 1 or a team of carers to work in rotation ?

HH : Helping Hands already have a pool of carers on standby for quick start options, however our ongoing recruitment and training programme means that we are constantly adding to and training our team. We can work closely with you to understand the specific PA attributes you are looking for , submitting profiles for your consideration and involving you in the final selection.

2. Checking eligibility and suitability for work

You will need to check their eligibility and right to work in the UK documents  as well as managing relevant checks with the CRB and Independent Safeguarding  systems ( these will cost) as well as ensuring references from recent employers.

HH : All checks are taken care of before a PA is available for any placement.

3. Training & Keeping Pace with Change

How will you ensure your PA is trained to a sufficient standard and keeping pace with any specialist / refresher  training ?

Its important that your carer is trained in not only the basic fundamentals of being a PA but also the specialist skills they made need to support you and your condition. Every  Helping Hands PA has to pass an intensive five day residential course as standard and will be trained in any complex moving and handling techniques and aspects of personal care support that are critical to enabling you to live independently.


Once you have recruited the right PA you are then faced with the ongoing responsibilities as an employer. This means covering the National Insurance and Tax for the employee  as well as your employer contribution as well as the agreed salary.

HH : Pay the PA’s salary directly into their bank, covering holiday pay, sickness and maternity planning  etc.

5. Your ongoing support

The big question is BACK UP. Do you have a contingency if your directly employed PA is sick or wants to go on holiday ?  Could you cope without them incase of emergency ? What if you employ and don’t get on ?

HH : We have the depth and scope to guarantee that you will never be left without cover,  all handovers  between PAs are managed to ensure your support is never compromised. If for whatever reason you want a change of PA then we can quickly organise for a change, sometimes customers like variety and enjoy knowing that they can try different personalities on a live in basis.

And of course you have your Care Service Manager just a call away, this manager takes full responsibility for the ongoing supervision your PA.

So big, honest questions that need to be asked – do you have the time , energy and resources to directly employ?

Sally Tomkotowicz