Guidelines for Home Care Services

Guidelines for Home Care Services


The number of people being cared for in their own homes is increasing – in fact, 13% of older people in England receive their care from privately funded sources such as Birchwood Care Services. An ageing population means that more and more people will continue to rely on home care services in the future, to assist with household tasks, personal care and any other activity that allows them to maintain their dignity, independence and quality of life.


Home care providers are, of course, regulated by the Care Quality commission (CQC), and as part of a new gold standard for services, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a guide in 2016, in which it recommends certain things you should expect from your home care service.

As well as recommending that carers spend at least 30 minutes on home visits and that people’s carers are not changed too frequently, you should also expect to:

1. Have care workers who are able to meet your needs

Care workers should have the right skills needed to support you, for example if you have dementia or are deaf or blind. They should also respect your cultural and religious values.

2. Feel comfortable with your care workers

You should expect to see the same care workers regularly, so they can get to know you and be familiar with your needs including how you like to communicate and your likes and dislikes.

3. Be made aware of changes in advance

If for any reason, your regular care worker is unable to visit you, you should be told in advance that a different care worker is coming.

4. Be given a care diary that’s regularly updated

Home care workers and others who help you at home such as physiotherapists or community nurses should update your care diary each time they visit.

5. Be given a home care plan that meets your needs

Your home care plan should be clear, concise and include information about your health, any disabilities you may have, medicines and pain management

6. Be prepared to review the care plan 

The agency should  review the plan with you within six months of your first care visit to make sure that you are happy with it. After that, the plan should be reviewed every six months.

Birchwood Care boasts over 25 years of healthcare experience and is proud to have been rated ‘GOOD’ in our most recent CQC review (Dec 2017) and achieved a score of 9.5 on homecare.co.uk which reviews almost 10,000 providers across the UK.

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