Questions to ask a potential Home care provider

6 February, 2023

Posted in: Blogs

Handling all your loved one’s needs on your own can become increasingly difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. Finding the right home care assistance for your relative can offer them the support they need and bring you peace of mind.

You want your loved one to receive the best possible care, but trusting an outside party with these very personal responsibilities can be challenging. Family caregivers often take it upon themselves to vet potential agencies, but how do you know what questions to ask home care providers and what red flags to look for?

We created a list of useful questions that can help you gather basic information about a company’s services and gain a deeper understanding of its dedication to quality senior care and customer service.

What questions should you ask?

Don’t be afraid to ask too many questions of us or any care provider you are enquiring with.

If a provider is unable or unwilling to answer basic questions you should proceed cautiously.

Some of the basic questions to ask a home care provider are:


  1. How long have you been in business?


St Margarets Homecare have been in business for 35 years.


  1. Do you offer a free in-home consultation or charge a fee for the initial assessment?


Yes, we would not dream of charging for an initial assessment.


3. Do you have business liability insurance, and are you willing to share a copy of your insurance certificate?


Yes, we have full cover and can provide a copy of the insurance certificate at your request.


  1. Do you create a personalised care plan for each client? Who’s involved and what does this include?


Yes, we create a bespoke care plan for all our clients tailored to their specific needs and wants. Our field manager will come to visit you in your home to discuss what you want/need. We regularly audit the care plans to ensure we are not providing too little or too much care.


  1. How do you communicate with clients and their family members regarding any issues, concerns, or recommendations?


We use an app called Birdie. Birdie is our care management system. It links all the chains in care management enabling our carers to dedicate more time to our clients and giving families 24/7 real time information on their loved one’s care. All clients, and their loved ones, have secure access to their care specific profile and care plan via the app. This enables you to keep track of all dates/times of planned care, client notes and view the carer comments made on previous visits. You will also get live notifications on carer arrival time, should they be delayed.


This can be particularly useful if you live far away.


  1. Do you conduct background checks on your carers?


Yes, our carers undergo strict reference and DBS checks before we send them to you. Most of our carers have been with us for many years and really are one of the family. We believe that client carer relationship is paramount so that you feel comfortable with your carer and can build a strong lasting relationship with them. We therefore focus on care continuity to ensure that the friendly face you see every day, or week, is a familiar one.


  1. Do your caregivers receive training?


Yes, our carers receive full training when they join us as part of their induction and receive continued professional development training during their time with us.


  1. Do you conduct periodic supervisory visits to evaluate caregiver performance?


Yes, we carry out un-planned ad-hoc visits in line with regulatory requirements. We also conduct internal reviews and client reviews.


  1. If I have an issue or concern, such as a no-show or late caregiver, who will be my point of contact?


You will have 24/7 access to our on-call phone for emergencies. All issues or concerns and concerns can be raised directly with any one of our management team.


  1. Is a member of your staff available outside of normal business hours for emergency situations, or do calls go to an answering service?


Yes, we have a 24/7 phone line that can be called out of office hours. The phone will be answered by one of the team.


  1. Do you require a minimum number of hours or shifts per week? If so, what’s the minimum?


No, we create a care plan that matches the needs of our client. This can be as little or as much as you need it to be.


  1. How often do you bill, and what forms of payment do you accept?


We bill every 4 weeks. Our preferred method of payment is BACS however, we understand that this can be difficult for some so are happy to take cheque payments or whatever works best for you.


  1. Do you require a deposit for services?




  1. Are you registered with CQC? What was your last rating?

Yes, all of our locations are registered and have received good ratings since inception over 35 years ago.