Please browse through our FAQ to find out some of the commonly asked questions about our home care / domiciliary services and to learn more about how it works. If you have homecare questions not covered below then please contact us to ask.
Why choose care at home?
Care at home is also referred to as homecare or domiciliary care. It is a term for support provided in the home by Care Workers who assist someone with their daily life. Supporting people to remain at home helps them maintain personal independence, as well as contact with friends, family and the local community. Care at home can be flexible, for instance initially you may only require an hour a week, perhaps later you will increase that to several hours a day, or night duties. You may choose to use the service just for a short while, from time to time or for the long term.
What is the UKHCA?
The UKHCA is the professional association for domiciliary care providers in the UK. The UKHCA promotes the highest standards of care & encourages quality training of homecare workers. It also promotes care at home as the preferred option for people who need care & helps members of the public to find local, reputable homecare organisations. As a member, Gardiner’s complies with the UKHCA Code of Practice to ensure that the:
- rights of service users comes first;
- highest standards of care are provided; and
- rights and welfare of Care Workers are protected.
How will my safety and well-being be protected?
Gardiner’s leaves no stone unturned when recruiting our staff. It is vitally important to us that we recruit people with a genuine caring nature, that are honest and trust worthy with the right skills and experience to make excellent care workers. We also conduct values based interviews with every candidate, before take up both professional and character references. We ask all new staff to complete psychometric personality test which show their suitability to the role of care worker. Before starting work, all staff are subject to a DBS check, previously known as a CRB or police check.
All Gardiner’s care workers undertake initial and ongoing training to make sure they are competent to provide care at home. We observe our care workers providing care, we follow up and investigate any incidents or issues that are reported, and we regularly meet with care workers to discuss their performance.
If ever you do not feel comfortable or entirely satisfied with a care worker, you simply need to call the office to let us know that you would prefer that they do not visit again. We will explore this further with you so that we can understand the problem and provide feedback to the care worker
What costs are involved?
At Gardiner’s, we are proud to pay our team of experienced and dedicated care workers a fair rate of pay that is higher than that offered by other care providers. This combined with the greater level of training and support that we offer means that Gardiner’s are not amongst the cheapest of care providers and nor do we seek to be.
- Weekdays, our minimum charge which covers the first 60 minutes of any care duty is £28.48 + mileage.
- For longer duties, any additional time is charged at £20.07 per hour.
- At weekends, Friday 6pm to Monday 6am, the cost is 25% higher.
- For all duties, mileage is charged at 45 pence per mile for the care workers journey to and from your home.
On bank holidays (as well as Christmas Eve from 1800 and New Year's Eve from 1800) we charge double the normal rate.
Are you required to register with a statutory regulator and if so, are you currently registered?
Yes Gardiner’s are registered with the Care Quality Commission – click the link to read about our registration and our most recent inspection report. http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-114391797
Can I contact you during the day, outside office hours and in an emergency?
Yes our office hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm. Outside of these hours our office team operates an emergency on call service for use by existing service user and care workers only.
What happens if my regular Care Worker is sick or on holiday?
If your regular Care Worker is sick or on holiday, we will aim to supply an alternative care worker who has visited you before and already knows you. Before sending a new care worker we will contact you to advise that someone new is visiting and to tell you a little about them.
What payment methods are available?
We prefer service user’s to pay by direct debit. Alternatively you can pay online, our bank details are included on our invoices or you can send a cheque by post.
Do we have to sign a contract?
Yes, we ask you to sign a short contract to protect all parties. We have tried to make the contract as short and easy to read as possible. When you make an enquiry we will post to you our brochure which includes a copy of our service user guide and our terms and conditions.
How much notice do we have to give to stop your services?
We ask for two weeks’ notice to stop the service as a whole and two days notice to cancel individual duties.
What happens if a service user is admitted to hospital?
Care will be suspended from the last visit, we may need to charge for duties on the day of admission and the next day since the care workers had committed their time to the service user and will still need to be paid. Thereafter we will not charge. When the service user is ready to return home, we will seek to reinstate care, and increase care if needed preferably with care workers who are already familiar with the service user.
Can we change our duty times or what services we have?
Yes – our service user’s needs change all the time. We work closely with service user’s and their families to provide the right care - this might mean changing duty times, increasing or decreasing the amount of care required
What is your minimum duty time?
We are happy to visit for duties shorter than an hour, however our minimum charge is the same for all duties up to and including 1 hour. The care workers time taken to travel to you is not charged.
Where does Gardiner’s provider it’s services, and are you able to provide services where I live?
We primarily provide home care services (domiciliary care services) in the Reading area and South Oxfordshire – so Reading, Henley, Wokingham, Caversham, Sonning Common, Goring & Streatley, Pangbourne etc. Please contact us to see if we can provide help to you where you live.
Do you also provide care services at the weekend and on Bank Holidays?
Yes, we provide care 365 days a year, 24 hours a day – although higher rates of charge do apply for weekends and Bank Holidays.
Will I have the same care worker every day?
We aim to establish a small team of regular care workers visiting you. We try to avoid having just one care worker assigned to a particular service user since that makes it hard to provide cover should that care worker fall ill or go on holiday, however we do try to keep the number of your care workers to an absolute minimum- it is important to us that our care workers get to know you well.
Can you provide help during the night?
Yes of course – we have many care workers who are willing to support service users at night, either for a waking duty where they stay up with the service user or they can sleep in a separate room and be available for you to call upon if needed.
Can you help me with my medication?
Yes, our care workers can follow your instructions or have more involvement by prompting or administering your medication. It is preferable for you to have a “Nomad” dispensing system set up with your chemist.
I won’t be able to get to the door to let care workers in - what should I do?
The simplest way to solve this is to have a Key-safe fitted to the outside of your property. Your care workers can then be told the combination code and will be able to let themselves in.
How can I stay safe in cold weather?
We have written a full resource guide on this subject aimed at both our customers and our care workers to ensure everyone is safe. You can read more at 'Staying safe in cold weather'.
Why are eye sight tests so important and what should I do if I struggle to visit the opticians?
We have written an article which explains why regular eye tests are so important, as well as advice about what to do if you struggle to attend your opticians and advice about the further help that is available to those with poor eye sight. You can read more at 'The importance of sight test for those receiving care at home'.
Do you have any other questions? If so please let us know via our contact page.