Introduction agencies are agencies that introduce carers to the clients. They will typically recruit the carers, interview them, check references, do background and criminal record checks and will often provide training. The carers work on a self employed basis and will take care of all their own tax affairs. Carers are free to be registered with a number of agencies, and work for a number of different clients. The carer will be suitably trained to meet the need of the client, but won’t be under the direct supervision and control of the introducing agent. The carer will be registered as self employed and submit a tax return at the end of each year, the introduction agency will check that they are doing so. For introduction agencies, the client gives the daily instructions to the carer. The role of an introductory agent is as an advisor to the client. They will offer advice and support on the setting up and management of the care service, but ultimately it is between the client and carer to decide the best course of action.
Managed agencies employ the carers directly, they take responsibility for the carrying out of tasks, supervise and guide the carer a bit more closely. They are responsible for all the activities with regards to managing the carers, rather than this being the responsibility of the client. They will typically determine which carer goes to which client on which date. They are regulated by the Care-Quality-Commission (CQC) who inspect the services that are being offered. The carers are employed directly by the agencies so the agencies are responsible for paying the carers for sick pay, holiday pay, and to make national insurance and pension contributions.
Is a managed service or introduction service better for me?
It depends on your situation. If you would like to decide on the carer who comes and be more actively involved in overseeing the carer then an introduction service might be better for you. If the client is vulnerable, by themselves and there are no relatives nearby then a managed service might be a better option. Managed services tend to be a lot more expensive, usually at least £200 a week more than introduction agencies, which equates to an extra care bill of at least £10,000 a year. Managed agencies claim that they offer a better service as they are inspected and closely monitor the carers. Although the quality of care really comes down to the quality of carers and there are good and bad carers in both managed and introduction agencies. Carers that work on a self-employed basis are often more independent minded and feel more comfortable to get on with things. They are usually better paid which can lead to a higher level of motivation, and are often carers with more experience.
We would welcome you to explore more about how careleaf can help provide live in care