Home care users help shape standards strategy

Over 3,000 people receive home care in Oxfordshire and some told the council that they wanted more say over how their care is provided. In response the council organised for those using services and people who run home care agencies to meet face to face.

A draft set of core standards were subsequently drawn up following a workshop held with service users, carers and providers, which was then sent to more than 1,600 home care users for initial feedback.

Of those who responded, 91% felt very positive about the care they received and 96% said they were very happy and felt that the draft standards were right.

Comments received have now been incorporated into the final Homecare Standards for Home Support Services document, which will now be implemented.

The standards in the document are:

Home care staff will:

  • Introduce themselves when they arrive;
  • Know you and your support plan;
  • Be trained to deliver the support you need;
  • Always deliver support to a good standard.


When your home care worker visits you, they will:

  • Focus their attention on you;
  • Be pleasant and treat you with dignity and respect;
  • Do their very best to arrive on time and let you know by telephone if they are going to be late;
  • Tell you when they are leaving;
  • Check to see how they can best support you at the start of each visit;
  • Not rush you - they will help you at a pace that suits you;
  • Carry out all agreed tasks;
  • Make sure that you are comfortable at all times;
  • Communicate and discuss topics that interest you;
  • Check that you are happy with the support you are given and encourage you to tell us how they can improve;
  • Show you your care record if you ask for it;
  • Be aware that their visit may affect other household members


An important engagement tool

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: "We know that the majority of people want to stay living in their own homes and sometimes to do that they may require some support with various tasks, such as personal care or assistance with preparing a meal or taking medication.

"We want to provide the best quality home care that we are able to via organisations we contract with and it is essential that there is input from those in receipt of these services to help develop that.

"I am delighted that we have established a list of core standards working with service users and I look forward to these agreed values being implemented for the benefit of those who receive home support."