Introductory Agency: FAQs
What is an Introductory Agency?
Elder is a specialist introductory agency that matches individuals with a self-employed carer based on their needs and personality. We do not employ carers and so are defined by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an Introductory Agency. The Introductory Agency model is approved by the CQC but falls outside the scope of their regulations.
Who provides day to day care?
Carers, introduced by Elder, in line with family members or primary contacts and local councils, manage the day to day care of service users. This includes personal care, support with assessments, and anything else required to make sure the recipient is safe, happy and comfortable in the place they’re happiest – their own home. As an Introductory Agency, we do not have an ongoing role in the direction or control of the service provider (the carer).
If carers are self-employed, how are they vetted?
We check their Disclosure and Barring Service certificates, as well as conduct phone and Zoom interviews (and in-person interviews when possible).
How do you take responsibility for self-employed carers?
Elder’s Family Support Specialists check-in with the carer and customer regularly to ensure we know all placement updates. If there is an issue with the carer quality, we have a robust process and team to take appropriate action e.g. reiterate our Carer Standards, remove carers from our platform if there is a breach in terms and conditions, or report carers to the appropriate authorities. We also mediate constructive feedback to carers for less severe issues.
How do you approach documentation and risk assessments?
Our model is designed to enable customers and carers flexibility in the way care is provided and how it is documented. Elder does not mandate a particular method, but encourages carers to take notes and record important considerations. This can be done in a notebook, for example, or by using our care logs that are available to carers on the Elder Hub and customers via MyElder. Any issues raised in the care logs are sent directly to the customer, and will also be raised directly to our qualified Clinical team to review.
How is a care plan created if the Introductory Agency is not directing the care?
While we do not develop a standard care plan, we provide the processes and tools to equip both the carer and service user to manage the care experience:
- A care advisor will have an initial chat with the family to understand if live-in care is the most suitable option for them.
- We ask them to complete our online care appraisal – an intuitive online form that families can communicate the most important and relevant information
- A senior care planning expert will arrange a call with the family to discuss requirements at length and ensure we have the most accurate understanding of their needs and circumstances.
- This information is then used to match the service user with a suitable live-in carer.
Care needs may change over time. That’s why we encourage families to keep their care appraisal updated. If needs change, the level of support may too. To support families in their ongoing management of care, Family Support Specialists conduct regular check-ins to note any substantive changes in care needs and are able to suggest additional care reviews.
How are safeguarding incidents and escalations managed?
Elder’s safeguarding and escalation committee reviews potential safeguarding, criminal or clinically related concerns and coordinates plans of actions to support all our users.
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