Recruiting your own personal assistants

SkillsForCare

Giving you more choice and control over your care and support 

If you want a more personalised approach to your care, what about hiring your own PAs? We find out more about the process from Skills for Care

IF YOU GET A personal health budget or direct payment, employing someone to help with your care, such as a personal assistant (PA), can help you live independently in your own home.

It can also give you more choice and control over who supports you and the tasks they do. It means you become an employer, responsible for matters such as wages, pensions and training for your staff.

Skills for Care has lots of free online information to help you employ your own carers at www.employingpersonalassistants.co.uk.

Here are five tips to help you get started.

1. Find the right person for the job

“Don’t employ a PA because you’re in a rush; it’s important you find the right person for the job,” says Lesley St George, an individual

Recruiting PAs who have the right values will help you to do this. Think about what values you want your PAs to have and include them in job adverts, job descriptions and interviews.

There are examples to help at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/values.

2. Know where to advertise in your local community

Take advantage of opportunities in your local community to widen your pool of recruits, for example, by speaking at a local careers fair or getting involved in a care sector routeway with your Jobcentre Plus.

This guide will help you think of different ways to advertise your vacancies to target different people: www.skillsforcare.org.uk/target.

3. Write a contract of employment

This will make sure you and your PA are clear about each other’s responsibilities and will help you in situations such as if you go into hospital or if your PA has to take time off sick.

There is a list of things you should include at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/contract.

4. Provide a thorough induction

This is a great way of explaining what you want your PA to do and introducing them to your environment.

There is a step-by-step guide about what to include in your induction at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/PAinduction.

5. Apply for funding to train your PAs

Training can improve the skills and confidence of your PAs, and mean they provide better care and

Nadia Clarke employs a team of PAs and used Skills for Care funding to provide bespoke training on manual handling and first aid. She says: “I know that the PAs that have had the bespoke training are safe to help me and this also makes me feel safer.” Find out more at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/iefunding.

 Find out more at www.employingpersonalassistants.co.uk

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