CQC regulated care agency vs an introductory care agency?

What is a CQC regulated care agency?

A CQC regulated care agency is inspected, regulated and rated by an independent health and adult social care regulator called the “Care Quality Commission”. It was founded by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 2008 and it’s mission is to: “make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care”.  Most of the time, a CQC regulated agency will display it’s rating on its website – an example of what this looks like is provided below. This image should also be clickable and it should send you to the care agencies page on the CQC website. 

The CQC’s rating system is shown to give you, the customer, an idea of how high quality the care agencies services are. The CQC has four different levels of ratings. These levels are: inadequate, requires improvement, good and outstanding. When rating a care agency, the CQC rates five key questions, these are:

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsible to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?
While a large majority of care agencies are regulated, rated and inspected by the CQC, there are some care agencies who are not – an introductory agency being an example of those who are not regulated by the CQC.

What is an introductory care agency?

An introductory care agency introduces a customer to a self-employed carer. Essentially, introductory agencies act as a platform that showcases self-employed carers to potential customers. This is different to a CQC regulated care agency because they assign their own employed carers to help the customer. It is for this reason that unlike traditional care providers, introductory care agencies are NOT responsible for care planning or for the practical delivery of care! More differences shall be discussed below.

What are the main benefits of choosing a CQC regulated home care agency over an introductory home care agency?

CQC regulated agency

  1. Regulation. Regulated by the national independent health and adult social care regulator, the CQC. Therefore, care services are constantly required to perform to a certain standard
  2. Planning and delivery. Care planning and practical delivery is fully managed by a highly qualified care manager who has been chosen for their position due to their experience
  3. Care cover. Can easily and quickly provide a new caregiver if the current caregiver falls ill or goes on holiday. This is particularly important if you or your loved one need continued care!
  4. Pricing. All inclusive pricing, no surprises!

Introductory agency

  1. Regulation. Due to no CQC rating, how can you be truly sure that an introductory agency has a high quality service?
  2. Planning and delivery. Care planning and delivery is only managed by the self-employed carer, if anything goes wrong, the introductory agency is not responsible. There’s also the chance that the carer may be less experience when compared with a qualified care manager
  3. Care cover. If a self-employed carer goes on holiday or falls ill, the family of the client will need to find a suitable replacement, which will take time!
  4. Pricing. Additional fees may be charged depending on what services the self-employed carer does for you or your loved one. For example, food shopping or meal preparation

The verdict

While introductory care agencies provide a valuable service to both self-employed carers and care clients, they do not provide the same level of proven, consistently reliable and high quality care that a fully managed, traditional CQC regulated care agency does. 

Choose Penwith Care...

We get it, choosing a care provider for you or your loved one is difficult and takes time. However, we believe that our fully managed and CQC regulated service is the type of home care provider you’re looking for. Here are some reasons why you should choose us:

  1. Local to Cornwall. We don’t have branches spread all over the country. We are truly local to Cornwall (we’re located in Hayle, and have cover areas in West Cornwall including: Camborne, Redruth, St Ives, Carbis Bay, Penzance and surrounding areas). This allows us to better serve out clients’ needs through a good understanding of the local area. It also allows us to better serve the Cornwall community are large
  2. People trust us to care for them. Since our inception in 2010, we have cared for 750 people and we are currently caring for 120+ people across West Cornwall!
  3. Qualified caregivers. Our carers have completed a mandatory care certificate and all aim to achieve NVQ3 qualifications 
  4. CQC regulated. As mentioned before, we are fully rated and regulated by the CQC, meaning, our services are constantly monitored in accordance with CQC guidelines. As such, we strive to provide the very best care to you or your loved one
  5. Fully managed care service. Once you have agreed to care with us, our care managers will plan out your care and they will assign you a suitable caregiver to help you in your day to day life

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