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Simple Needs Home help

Hi out there, To anyone looking for care it can be a daunting and scary world. A friend of mine found brilliant support through a site called simple needs. loads of carers offering help in a search by post code free service…hope it’s of use if you find yourself stuck for care

Good wishes, Sop x

Hi Sop,

By a strange coincidence, I’ve seen this popping up a lot on Facebook, lately.

I did have some concerns about it, though. Basically, it looks like a glorified classified ads column. So anyone can offer their services, with no checks at all.

In fact, the site itself boasts that the way the prices can be kept so low in comparison with registered care providers is they don’t have the “expense” of complying with regulations!

I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or not. Affordable local care is a good thing, but I’m not sure it’s quite such a good thing if the sole responsibility for checking safety and trustworthiness of carers rests with the person hiring them.

I mean, how the heck can you tell? Anyone can say anything in an ad. Some claim to be CRB-checked, or willing to be (presumably at hirer’s expense). Some expressly say a CRB check is NOT available. I wouldn’t touch any of those, because why would a person hoping to be hired not make it available, unless it would show something adverse?

Others claim to have had various training or experience, but how could a lay person verify? Anyone with a computer and a printer can knock up a plausible looking certificate. I have absolutely no idea about care qualifications, so wouldn’t be able to tell genuine from bogus.

I’m glad your friend found someone that worked out well. There’s no doubt some advertisers are genuine, and I’m not sure formal training and experience are always necessary, if you’re not looking for personal care, but just a bit of help with shopping or odd-jobs.

However, I also think it’s really open to abuse. Unscrupulous people could offer their services as “carers” to people they know are elderly or vulnerable, and there doesn’t seem to be anything to stop it, apart from the hirer having to trust their intuition. If you’re not such a good judge of character as you thought you were, you might be inviting an abuser into your home.

Sorry, but I just think people need to understand the risk they’re taking, when they hire through the equivalent of a newspaper small-ad.

Tina

I sort of assumed this was an ad. I did look at the site and they are obviously in needs of people offering work, no shortage of people offering their service. As you say there are risks with taking unchecked people on and allowing them into your home. I wonder what responsiblity they will find they have should something to wrong?

Hi Bonnie,

I shared your concerns it’s an ad.

Their terms make clear they’re only acting as an intro agency for private transactions, which is how they get away without having to be regulated, or being liable if anything goes wrong. There is a passing reference to “check-ups” on the website - I think a total of one sentence. But I couldn’t see any more about what these were or how they worked, so I don’t know if it gives you any extra safety at all. Overall, the emphasis was very much on the fact it would be you doing the hiring, so on your own head be it, so to speak.

I suppose it’s not a lot different to hiring any tradesperson. Only this week, I need to find someone to replace a broken fence. But outdoor maintenance work isn’t as risky as hiring somebody for potentially quite personal services, like helping you go to bed, or get up in the morning.

I know regulated care isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be either. Just because they’ve got an official stamp of approval doesn’t prove they really do care, or that there aren’t rotten apples in the barrel (you only need to think Winterbourne View). However, at least if things go wrong in the regulated sector, you have a claim against someone. You won’t be told it was your own silly fault for hiring them, and that you should have been more careful.

I really don’t know. It’s worrying if people are increasingly seeing proper, regulated care as unaffordable, and turning instead to cheaper, unverified providers. You might be lucky, and get the salt of the earth, but then again, you might not. The whole problem with con merchants is they’re usually very plausible. I don’t know if I trust myself to tell the difference, if someone seems nice, after a brief interview.

Tina

I am a youngish person, I need carers and I have hired carers. I have had carers from certified and reputable (local knowledge) agencies with all the correct checks and certs in place. I have had carers and help I have hired privately.

I would never recommend hiring privately-ever after what I have experienced. You do not have any recourse if there are any problems such as inappropriate behaviour, abusive behavior, missing personal items, tardiness, no shows, holiday cover because the onus is totally on the client/patient. In my experience the private hires were much more likely to be late, to cancel at the last minute, to cancel on holidays, frankly they seemed the less professional people. I have to reiterate, this is my experience.

Please think carefully before hiring someone without thorough checks, especially privately. As with everything else you get what you pay for and though agency help is more dear, I have found it is worth every penny.

Hi all, It’s an interesting topic this, I guess at the end of the day it’s all about choice, Poor carers have sadly plagued both private and public services for too long. The way i see it is if you hire someone, you’re in control, if you don’t get on or feel its working simply seek another carer. When hiring anyone I would seek a second opinion ie arrange to meet with someone else untill you feel comfortable. Our friend found someone local and it was the fact that simple needs found carers by postecode that worked for them. It’s not a good position to be in but for those that find themselves in need of care it can be a worrying time. I think most people are descent and most carers care, there are a lot of unsung heros out there, the sad thing is the media and publicity always centeres around those that do wrong instead of celebrating those that really make a difference to peoples lives.

Kind regards Sop

For me, its about who is accountable to who, responsibilty and relationships. A private PA (or a private carer) is responsible to me, and its me that has to be sastisfied with the service. An agency PA/carer has two loyalties, to client and to agency which can mean divided loyalties and problems. That bothers me.