Domiciliary Care

Care in the home
Care in the home

Domiciliary care, or homecare, are both common terms used to describe the support and personal care which some people receive in their own home.

Providing support services can be a rewarding venture if carried out to correct standards of care, there are various options when buying or selling a domiciliary care business or of course some people start new domiciliary care businesses from scratch.

“Domiciliary” derives from the word Latin “domus” which means “home”. Home care can vary in the time spent delivering support. Domiciliary care could be a routine 15 minute check to make sure the individual is up to date wth medicine prescribed by a doctor, and on the other end of the scale some carers are live-in and they will care for an individual 24 hours a day.

Domiciliary Care Explained

Domiciliary care falls into two categories which are: self funded and state funded.

Homecare can be provided by individuals’ families and friends and this form of home care is often unpaid on an informal basis, this can sometimes result in high levels of care, which can be time consuming but is carried out by loved ones or friends who live nearby.

There is also state funded care which usually results from a commissioning body paying the homecare provider to carry out the home care or by giving Direct Payments to the ‘Service Users’ thus enabling them to pay for the care of their choice.

This type of home care is offered to children, teenagers, adults and of course elderly people who may all have a wide range of care and support needs. Homecare providers will often specialise in delivering care services to one of these age groups or to a specific set of users who may present needs in areas such as illness, or learning disability and mental health diagnosis.The homecare given to users is often non-medical, however, some care workers can train in certain areas such as peg feeding. Domiciliary care agencies often work in partnership with other Health & Social Care professionals, and an individual or user may receive personal and medical care at home through the co-ordinated services of, for example, District Nurses, Care Workers, and Occupational Therapists.

Domiciliary care is most usually delivered by carers in the person’s own home, however this care sometimes needs to be delivered outside the users home. This could be for instance, an escort service for the user to visit a hospital appointment or clinic. It could be that the carer needs to carry out shopping for the user or even with the user present.

The importance of care agencies to adhere to guidelines and provide compassion when caring for users is imperative and Domiciliary care agencies are inspected, monitored and regulated by the following regulatory bodies:

  • England – Care Quality Commission (CQC)
  • Scotland – Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Social Care
  • Northern Ireland – Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)
  • Wales – Care & Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)

Domiciliary care agencies will also carry out their own quality assurance checks. This is by through staff supervision and appraisal, random spot checks, training assessments of carers, client satisfaction questionnaires, complaints and compliments, client forums, staff surveys, team meetings and feedback from other Health & Social Care professionals.

Domiciliary Care can be a rewarding service and is an essential part of healthcare in modern day Britain.

Article by Simon Lucas