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Care & carers


(7 Posts)
CEDRIC2 Fri 19-Apr-19 15:16:12

Hi, Happy ( sunny ) Easter to you all.

My mum is receiving home care visits arranged by social security. The care agency is attempting to invoice us when they allege calls take longer than the designated time.
The original invoice was just dates visited and cost £. totalling £219.53 for January. Yesterday also received was a "proper" invoice and a document labelled as a contract. This has not been signed or dated and suggests effective from 1/1/19. No mention is made of charges to be raised.

Previous agencies have never raised an invoice; they either abandon my mother in a "safe" position or finish the task.
This particular agency has left at the end of their call time or finished the task.

Not being aware of these extra charges I did not record the attendance times, I have asked for copies of the log sheets for selected dates.

Has anyone else been charged for local authority arranged home care agency visits?

Countrylife Mon 22-Apr-19 08:35:28

I had short period where homecare came for my mum in law before we had to move her to EMI and social services set up up with a private company but I paid social services monthly in arrears. Never a problem.

Now my mum has DN free for medical reasons in the morning. MOW for lunchtime and then private care company arranged via social services for evening call. The venting call is to stand by while she has a shower, outside the door, sort her clothes for the next day, Mum is blind and make her a little something for supper and give her meds which are in sealed am and pm pouches so no mistakes. We have had a lot of trouble with these private cos. Recently switch to another through social services though. The invoice comes from the private company monthly in arrears and we always note down misses etc., trouble is if we aren’t about, us children, then we don’t always know they’ve missed as Mum has very little short term memory. Hence the care to give her the meds, make her tea.

So you if have any problems call your social services contact, if you can’t recall the name just phone council offices ask for social services care and you will get through. Explain to them what’s happening they are awesome at helping out. Good luck

Whitewavemark2 Mon 22-Apr-19 09:26:43

The social services will have agreed the necessary amount of time with your mum and will have contacted the care service provider accordingly.

They - the care provider should have all the record of visits times etc, and where it happened they should have a reason for going overtime.

Contact the social services and they should be able to advise or at least find out what is going on.

It goes without saying that you pay nothing until you are satisfied.

kittylester Mon 22-Apr-19 09:46:21

If you are having to pay privately for one lot if carers, it might be better to organise it yourself as social services can charge an admin fee with is, in effect, dead money.

GracesGranMK3 Mon 22-Apr-19 10:22:48

This should have all been explained to you by both the Local Authority and, if you are dealing directly with the company, by them too. DO NOT SIGN until you are happy you understand what is being done.

May I ask you some questions.

Do you have Power of Attorney for your mother?
Have your mother's income and savings been assessed?
If she has had an assessment what conclusions did it come to - do you have those conclusions in writing?
Have you chosen something called "Direct Payments"?

The Local Authority have to stick to the rules but they have been expecting clients to "top up" payments. This may be illegal but no one has challenge it in the courts yet. Probably because they are too tired and stressed dealing with the LA at the time.

Although you need to get to the bottom of this, for now, when you look at the time sheets, check to see if they ever stayed for less time. My mother sometimes sent the carers away and wouldn't let them help. We would get some days when they took time off and some when the added it. It wasn't ideal but I always had a reasonable idea of what we would have to pay.

Mum was on the direct payment scheme which meant we had a separate account into which the LA paid what they thought mum needed at the rate they had set (far too low, only one company met that rate in our area) we (I) then paid into the account what I thought we would have to pay on top to "top-up" the difference between the LA amount and the actual hourly charge. I then paid the Care company from this account. It did mean we had a contract directly with the care company though so the LA did not have responsibility but we could have chosen to employ one or two people directly if we had wanted to. I really did not want to put us in that position.

Not sure if this will help but do keep picking the brains of those who have been there.

CEDRIC2 Mon 29-Apr-19 16:22:03

Hi all, thank you for your responses.

Yes I ( and my brother ) have both types of POA's
Yes an assessment has been processed.
Conclusions, presuming you mean are we eligible for LA funding - yes with a contribution.
No, we are at the mercy of the LA. They arrange for the care agency. The agency sends in the carers, currently twice per day.
This particular agency sent an invoice ( a spreadsheet showing dates and amounts only ) for January for "extra" time. Eventually we received an appropriate invoice together with a contract. Discussions are ongoing.

I have been seeking an extra lunch time call but the social services person ignores my requests.

I could not agree more, too stressful dealing with my mum and all the others seeking access - DN's, doctors, community matron, etc. etc. No time for anything other than basic needs.

Some calls have needed extra time, some also have the carers departing early when tasks have been completed.

I have been less than happy with some of the carers and have made this plain or requested they not be sent again. This has resulted in a change of care agency. Social services inform us that no one has responded to their request for a care agency.
I now provide the labour; with previous agencies they sometimes would not send a carer so I would have to fill in.
To the agency or social services this was not an issue!

I have lost faith with the social worker she makes promises she is unable to keep. At an agency review they sought an extra 30 minutes for the morning call. She said it was no issue and would provide the paperwork. Some 2 weeks later after phone calls and emails she said she needed to send in an OT to assess the requirement. The OT came and we had the extra time. But did not the social worker not know her job?

I am too tired to keep chasing what I used to think was fairly basic needs but obviously not.

Cheers to all

Anja Mon 29-Apr-19 16:53:49

This doesn’t surprise me in the least. Trying to get help for an elderly friend has convinced me that the system is not fit for purpose.

Total shambles. It is an example of budget cuts to local authorities, social services and every thing else.

Just had a local election leaflet through the door saying VOTE CONSERVATIVE and promising that they save us money and provide better services!

Lies! Services are falling apart and this just proves the Tories know the price of everything and the cost of nothing.