WHAT TO EXPECT IF WORKING
24 HOURS LIVE–IN WORKING ON A SELF EMPLOYED BASIS
Pay: £135.00 per 24 hours
Double time at bank holidays
Meals on duty or a food allowance of £5.00 per day
Contribution towards travel costs up to £25.00
Business mileage paid at .35ppm when taking clients out in your car
BEFORE THE ASSIGNMENT
Where possible we will arrange for the Support Worker to meet the Client beforehand. In these circumstances, the Client will be asked to reimburse the Support Worker’s travel costs and time.
The office will give the Support Worker as much information as possible prior to commencement. A blue file will be left with the Client, giving contact details, medication sheets, rotas, timesheet, care plan etc. However, as with any new Client, there will be a period of settling in and if you feel that any information is missing or the file would benefit from extra detail, please feel free to let the office know.
DURING THE ASSIGNMENT
The arrival of the Support Worker:
It may be that there will be no-one to take over from and the Client or family member will welcome the Support Worker and show him or her round.
Support Workers should not expect time off on either the arrival or departure day. They do however, need a break during each day and this is often easily agreed and arranged with the Client, representative and/or another Support Worker.
There may well be an hour or two each day for the Support Worker to have time to themselves, but it may not always be possible to leave the Client’s home. Sometimes, complicated arrangements have to be put in place - perhaps a friend or relative has already agreed a regular time to take over or a relief carer has been arranged.
The key is to be as flexible as possible. Whatever arrangement has been made is best discussed before arrival.
If the client does not sleep well at night, it is important to inform the office. The length of time spent with any one client will be dependent on how demanding the client is. For some clients, a 24 hour period may be as much as a Support Worker can do, but for clients who sleep well, the period for live-in posts can be much longer.
It is important that a good handover should take place. If this is not possible, it is important that the Support Worker reads the notes kept in the blue file. Therefore it is essential that the notes are easy to read and give an in-depth account of how the client has been. Depending on the level of support required and whether a client suffers with urine infections, it may be important to log how often they go to the toilet. All notes should be signed, timed and dated. There should be a record of who has been previously, along with their contact details in case any queries should arise from the notes.
It may be that the Support Worker will need to remind the Client of who they are. Handover periods can be stressful for Clients who are frail and have memory difficulties.
When a new Support Worker arrives, it is reasonable for them to expect that their predecessor will have:
- Ensured that housework and laundry is up to date.
- Arranged for sufficient food to be in the house for at least the next 24 hours. Ideally, there should be sufficient food for both Client and Support Worker to cover weekends and Bank Holidays.
- Left the Support Worker’s bedroom clean and tidy.
- Updated any records.
All Support Workers are issued with an ID Badge when they are accepted to work through the Agency. This badge should be taken to every assignment, regardless of whether the Support Worker is regularly returning and should be produced upon request.
PRIVACY & DIGNITY
Support Workers should ensure that personal care and support is delivered in a way which maintains and respects the privacy, dignity and lifestyle of the Client. This ranges from dressing/bathing, toilet and continence requirements, manual handling and medication needs, together with handling personal possessions and documents, entering the Client’s home, bedroom, bathroom or toilet. Clients should be addressed by their title and surname unless they request otherwise.
Support Workers are often privy to sensitive information such as personal correspondence, banking information, family phone calls and other arrangements.
Support Workers are not expected to discuss Clients’ or their family’s personal details with anyone, whilst at the Clients home or when they have left. Communication of these details extends to personal emails and photographs (in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998).
Records and notes written should be kept in a safe place and not left in full view. Notes should be sent to the office at the end of the four-week period.
Support Workers should be given their own bedroom and somewhere to keep their clothes and other belongings. They should be aware that accommodation can vary considerably, and they are asked to check details with the Client and the office before confirming the assignment. Clients sometimes provide a television and armchair in the Support Worker’s room and this is appreciated, but we accept that it is not always possible. Support Workers should take their own bedding.
Sufficient food should be provided for three healthy meals a day for both Client and Support Worker. Support Workers are sometimes vegetarians, but they are expected to cook the type of food that the Client likes to eat and to serve it at the Client’s preferred times. If Support Workers have special dietary requirements, we advise them to purchase any "special" provisions before the assignment. Clients quite often want to be involved in decisions about the preparation and serving of meals, whilst others like the Support Worker to take over. It is best to clarify the position at the beginning of each assignment.
Support Workers are there for security and emergency during the night. In order to carry out their assignments effectively, they should be able to get a good night’s sleep. If they are regularly disturbed at night, we advise them to let the office know, in order that alternative arrangements for night cover can be made.
One of the duties of a Support Worker is to keep the house clean and tidy during the assignment. They should not be expected to carry out heavy housework or spring-cleaning, but they are told that it is important to keep on top of the housework.
If there is already a cleaner in post, the Support Worker will have been informed, but they should be aware that there is still a responsibility for the day-to-day tidiness of the house, i.e. for ensuring that kitchens (work tops, ovens, fridges, floors etc.), bathrooms and lavatories are kept clean, any out-of-date foodstuffs are removed from fridges etc. and for maintaining their own accommodation.
Support Workers should also ensure that the Client’s home is secure at all times.
The Support Worker’s responsibilities will include shopping unless other arrangements are in place. There should be sufficient housekeeping money available to cover reasonable costs and we would suggest a cash float with a record book be provided by the Client for the Support Worker to maintain a detailed record.
We would advise Clients not to ask Support Workers to use their credit and/or debit cards when shopping on their behalf, as this places the Support Worker in a vulnerable position.
Non-drivers may still be expected to do the shopping and this may involve the use of taxis, walking etc. These details should be discussed either during the initial telephone call or on arrival at the assignment.
e.g. What housekeeping arrangements are in place?
Many Support Workers are responsible for shopping as well as the payment of household expenses such as window cleaners, gardeners etc. How money is made available and replenished for these expenses, and what records are kept, will vary from Client to Client.
We request details of the Client’s daily routine when a Client registers with us and this information is passed to the Support Worker and should be discussed when the initial contact with the Client/Representative takes place. Some Clients are early risers, whilst others go to bed late at night and these are issues about which both parties should be aware and have agreed before the assignment is confirmed.
When a Client registers with us, we ask them or their Representatives to make an assessment of the anticipated hours that the Support Worker will work each day. This assessment will be the time it takes for the completion of all the tasks involved in the assignment. In asking the Client to estimate the average hours, we are ensuring that they are complying with Minimum Wage legislation and are paying the Support Worker on or above the minimum wage.
If there is a problem with an assignment, a change in a Client’s condition, a change in the household arrangements or unresolved differences between Client and Support Worker, we are happy to offer advice to both Client and Support Worker in order to help resolve these issues. We would ask that you contact the office immediately a problem occurs, rather than leaving it until after the shift has finished. That way we can try and resolve the problem at the time.
We are sure you will appreciate that personalities cannot be defined on paper and occasionally there may be a personality clash between parties. Should this be the case, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately and we will use our best endeavours to find a suitable replacement.
SUPPORT WORKER EMERGENCY / ILLNESS
Whatever happens, our Support Workers are asked to remember that we all have a duty to preserve the safety of our Clients. If an emergency occurs which requires the Support Worker to leave early, they are instructed to contact the office, in the first instance, or other Support Workers so that alternative arrangements can be made.
UPDATING CLIENT INFORMATION
Our Client’s circumstances will undoubtedly change over time and it is very important that we are informed of any changes so that we can keep our records up to date and make alterations to the Care plan.
POLICIES & PROCEDURES
Support Workers should have a full set of policies, as required by the Care Quality Commission. If you do not have these, please contact the office.
We strongly recommend that our Support Workers refrain from smoking during an assignment.
Support Workers must refrain from consuming alcohol during an assignment as they are required to be alert and available at all times.
USE OF CLIENT TELEPHONE/INTERNET
Support Workers are advised to take a mobile phone to assignments in order to avoid using their Client’s telephone for personal calls. We advise Support Workers to keep their phones ‘topped up’ and in service at all times. However, it is not appropriate to take calls or send texts whilst caring for the Client, as this is likely to cause irritation. There will be areas where mobiles do not work, therefore to meet lone working policies, Support Workers should ask permission to use the Client’s telephone to let other people know that they have arrived safely.
Please be aware that Support Workers can give medication as long as they have been trained to do so. They can give support and help, acting under the direction of Clients. If a Support Worker has any concerns, they are advised to refer to the Client’s Representative, GP or the office.
SUPPORT WORKER’S CAR
If you are asked to use your car in the course of your work, you must clock your mileage so that the office can pay you correctly. You need to have a clean driving licence, ensure that the car is fully maintained and insured with adequate business cover in place.