FAQs for clients, families and Carers

What constitutes personal care?

Personal care means helping a person to wash, dress, go to the toilet, be fed, or anything that involves ‘intimate care’. It also covers prompting a person to complete their personal care if the care worker is required to be in close proximity. For example, being in the same room as someone whilst they bathe to make sure they are able to do this properly and safely, and to be on hand to help if needed, would be considered personal care.

Who gets Supporting Independence services?

Anyone over the age of 18 who has been assessed under the Care Act as needing unregulated care and support.

What is the difference between regulated and unregulated care and support?

Regulated care is where personal care is undertaken in your home. Personal care are activities like washing, dressing, feeding and help with going to the toilet. You might find it helpful to think about this as ‘intimate care’.

Providers of personal care all have to be registered and regulated by the Care Quality Commission who do regular inspections to check on safety and quality.

Unregulated providers do not undertake personal care tasks in the person’s own home. They are not registered with the Care Quality Commission and therefore are not inspected.

If I am eligible, how long will it take to arrange the service and will I get support in the meantime?

If you need a referral for unregulated care and support, the providers will need to respond within 48 hours. Therefore your care package should be arranged quickly. If you need urgent support the providers must respond to the referral within 4 hours.

Is Supporting Independence for people with dementia?

Yes, if the assessment under the Care Act has identified that they need unregulated care and support.

Supporting Independence is about buying unregulated care. The Carers Contract is about supporting carers.

Support for carers under the Carers Contract includes giving information and advice to carers, training for carers, and supporting carers to navigate the care system. The support might provide a Carer with a Carer’s Assessments and arrange a subsequent care-plan. If, as part of that care-plan  there was a need for unregulated care to be arranged by Devon County Council or Devon Partnership NHS Trust, then the Supporting Independence contract would be used.

If I reach 65, do I still get the same service?

Yes, if you remain eligible under the Care Act then you will continue to get the same service if that service is the best way of meeting your needs.

What help is available?

Supporting Independence services are either one to one support where there is no personal care involved in your home, or group based care and support where a person shared activities with others.

How do I get this help?

You will need to have had an assessment under the Care Act – see this page for more information: https://www.devon.gov.uk/adultsocialcareandhealth/assessments-for-care/

How much does it cost?

You will be financially assessed to find out whether you need to make a contribution to the service – please see this page for more information: https://www.devon.gov.uk/adultsocialcareandhealth/paying-for-care/

How safe is the service?

Every organisation who applied to be a Supporting Independence provider had to answer the following questions successfully:

  • how will your organisation ensure that its managers, staff and any volunteers are safely recruited, suitably trained, understand and are able to apply your organisation’s policies and procedures?
  • how will your organisation safeguard people that use its services?
  • how will your organisation ensure that equality and diversity is respected and promoted through the services it provides?
  • how will your organisation ensure that it provides a person centred service that meets people’s needs, wishes and outcomes?
  • how will your organisation ensure that service users, staff and volunteers are aware of its complaints, safeguarding and whistle blowing policies and are able to access independent advocacy for service users where necessary?
  • how will your organisation ensure that its service is of good quality and that areas for improvement are identified and acted upon?
  • how will your organisation ensure that people attending its services (and their carers) are fully involved in deciding how services are delivered to them and are involved in service development?
  • how will your organisation deliver additional social value to local and/or the wider community through its delivery of this contract? Your answer must align to the criteria contained in section 13.7 of schedule 1 and section 13.6 of schedule 4 (which are the same).

What do I do if I am unhappy with my provider?

If you are not happy with your provider and you have your care arranged by Devon County Council you can contact Care Direct 0345 1551 007 and ask to talk to someone about this.

If you want to provide feedback you can also make contact here: https://www.devon.gov.uk/adultsocialcareandhealth/contact/

If you are not happy with your provider and you have your care arranged by Devon Partnership NHS Trust you should have been told when your service would be reviewed and who by.

You can also look at this page and scroll through the teams who you might need to contact:  https://www.dpt.nhs.uk/locations?service=395

If you want to provide anonymous feedback you can do this here: https://www.dpt.nhs.uk/your-feedback

What happens if my provider is unhappy with me?

Your provider is able to give notice to terminate the service by giving notice.

However, the numbers of these will be monitored because we do not expect providers to offer support to people whom they don’t have the skills to help.

If a provider is unhappy with you, we will encourage them to make contact with Devon County Council or Devon Partnership NHS Trust to work with us and you to find a solution. It might be that the provider needs additional training, or it might be that you and your provider need to agree how to work better together.