I was speaking to the CHC nurse last week about care agencies and the 'deplorable state of the industry' as she put it.
There is a complete dearth of Care Agency placements around here and it tends to be get what you are given and be grateful.
Then the nurse (and she is a wonderfully on the ball there for you type person) said what about PAs?
Turns out that there are a lot of qualified people, who are companies in their own right (that's important - see later) who you can hire directly even using CHC monies.
If you are receiving CHC money ask them to convert it into a personal budget. You will need to set up a bank account for the money they give you and it must not be used for anything else but spending on your care plan. You do not need to keep accounts, just keep receipts electronic or otherwise.
The beauty of this is you write in respite care and days out as well as massage, hydrotherapy and anything else into the care plan and get it agreed. If you want some extra of this or that and its in the care plan you just buy it in and go short somewhere else. So you might use some of the respite money on getting more career time one week.
You must spend the must spend the money with registered companies. You cannot pay just 'someone', or a sister or neighbour unless you make yourself an employer and then you need to keep books and pay N.I and tax. There is free support to do this, but for me it is too much hassle.
These PAs advertise or respond to you on Gumtree and papool.co.uk/.
Be careful! Make sure they have a Police Disclosure Check ( crbdirect.org.uk ) and do look at it. This is a criminal record statement. Get references and validate them.
Hoping this might help someone.
It's the route I am trying to go down.
Waiving to you all