Home care

If you need some support at home with personal care such as bathing, dressing and making meals, there are a number of organisations that may be able to help you. These types of services can be known as ‘Care at home’ or ‘Domiciliary care’ services. Read more about care and support here.

What is a home care service?

Home care services provide different levels of support to help you continue to live in your own home, for as long as you want to do so.

These services can provide support with:

  • personal care, such as bathing and dressing
  • preparing food
  • reminding to take medication
  • gaining confidence in daily routines
  • equipment to get around more easily, or do everyday tasks independently
  • household work, such as laundry and cleaning tasks

How to get home care services

You can:

  • ask Newcastle City Council for an assessment to see if you are eligible for support to pay for and organise your home care
  • arrange and pay for a home care service yourself
  • employ a Personal Assistant yourself

Home care services from Newcastle City Council

Needs assessment

You can contact Community Health & Social Care Direct for a Needs Assessment from the council. They look at what your care and support needs are and if you’re eligible for support. This may be through some financial contribution towards the cost of your care and/or help to organise it.

If you’re not eligible for their support they will signpost you to services that can help.

Choose your own home care agency

You can choose your own home care and pay for it yourself. This is known as ‘self funding’. Prices vary for different care services and agencies, so it’s a good idea to shop around and make sure that the agency is the right one for you.

Which? have a helpful list of questions and a handy checklist to help you decide which care agency is the right one for you. For example, will the same member of staff visit each time? How do they assess your care needs?

If you want to find your own home care agency,  you can still get an assessment of your care and support needs from Community Health & Social Care Direct. The assessment can then help inform the agency of the type of support that is best for you.

Websites that list care agencies

You can use these websites to find out more about the care service to help you decide which service is right for you.

Care Quality Commission regulate, check and inspect home care services. You can use their site to find home care providers and read their inspection reports.

United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA) list organisations that have agreed to abide by the Association’s Code of Practice. They provide advice and information on specialist care providers (for example, care for complex medical conditions, or services for specific ethnic or cultural needs).

List of home care agencies commissioned by Newcastle City Council can be found on InformationNOW. These services are contracted by the council to deliver home care for adults.

Legal & General offer help to find and fund care.

Employing a Personal Assistant

Employing a Personal Care Assistant requires more initial organising, but it is often a cheaper option than using a home care agency, and also means that the same person will provide your care each time.

Some people prefer the familiarity of having one person provide their care, rather than a range of agency staff. If you choose to employ a Personal Assistant, this means you are an employer and will need to arrange:

  • advertising, interviewing for and recruiting an assistant
  • checking the individual’s right to work in the UK and DBS (previously CRB) checks
  • providing a contract of employment including rate of pay, holidays and sick pay, working hours and work tasks
  • Employer’s Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance
  • managing the payroll including tax and National Insurance: you can pay a payroll agency to manage this

For more information and advice visit the Skills for Care website.

Using your Direct Payment to employ a Personal Assistant

If you have a Personal Budget and choose to receive it as a Direct Payment, there are organisations that can help you with purchasing home care and arranging the administrative aspects for you.

For example, People Plus can support you with recruiting a Personal Care and Support Assistant and advertise Personal Assistant vacancies on your behalf. They can also manage the payroll aspects of employing a Personal Assistant.

Workplace Pensions for Personal Assistants

The law has changed so now every employer must now provide a workplace pension by April 2019. Whether you’re a hairdresser, an architect or employ a personal care assistant, if you employ at least one person you are an employer and you will need to set up a workplace pension for them.

The National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) is a government scheme to help people who don’t have an existing workplace pension.

It’s an ideal workplace pension scheme for small employers, especially for individuals who hire their own carers or assistants, because it’s free to sign up to NEST and there is no ongoing administration.

Disability North can support you with arranging a workplace pension for your personal care assistant.

Other useful Information

Alongside home care there are other services that can help you stay independent including:

The British Red Cross helps people following a short stay in hospital by providing extra support and care at home. The service is available on a short-term basis and is provided free of charge.  The service includes:

    • Rebuilding confidence
    • Collecting prescriptions
    • Offering companionship
    • Assistance with shopping.

Care at home – Age UK guide

UK Live In Care Association promotes the advantages and benefits of live in care as very few people are aware that you can receive care in the comfort of your own home.  Their website has a Live- In Care Provider directory where you can search for a Provider near you.

The Council has provided the Legal & General links for information purposes only. Please note that the Council neither recommends nor endorses any products or services accessed via these links. For full details, please see their website advertising statement.

Last updated: September 14, 2023