Staying at home

Buying help at home support from organisations

Before buying support ask to see the organisation's brochure and a copy of any code of conduct that they have for their staff. You may find that help from more than one organisation may be necessary to provide everything you need.

These are questions you may need to ask ask about staffing issues and charges.

First discussions

  • Will you visit me in my own home to discuss what help I need?
  • Can I have a relative or friend with me when we discuss what help I need?
  • What happens if the care I need changes?


  • Have all your carers been interviewed and their references checked?
  • How else are they screened? For example are Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks carried out?
  • What training will my carer have had?
  • What qualifications will my carer have?
  • Will nursing care always be given by a qualified nurse?
  • Have all staff giving personal or nursing care had police checks?


  • How do you supervise the work your carers do?
  • How do you check that they are doing what has been agreed?


  • What help can you provide in an emergency?
  • Who do I contact in an emergency?


  • Who will have details about me and my care?
  • What personal information do I have to provide?

Handling money

  • What records do you ask your carers to keep if they are handling my money (for example, if he or she is doing shopping for me or collecting my pension)?


  • How much will my care cost?
  • Do you charge different rates for help at different times (for example, in the evening and at weekends)?
  • Is anything charged as an extra?
  • Will I get written confirmation of the cost of my care before it starts?
  • Will I be notified in advance about any changes in charges?
  • How do I pay you (for example, do you bill me each week)?


  • Do you have public and employer liability insurance?
  • Do you have insurance covering losses arising from dishonesty?
  • Can I see confirmation in writing of your insurance cover?
  • What household insurance do I need (in case a worker injures him or herself, or household items get broken)?


  • Do I have to provide any equipment?
  • What equipment do your carers provide?


  • What can I do if I don't get on with my carer?
  • How do I make a complaint?
  • What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way my complaint is dealt with?
  • Do you have a formal complaints procedure?


  • How much notice do I have to give if I need to cancel help?
  • Is there a charge if I have to cancel help at short notice?
  • Will you tell me in advance if my carer cannot come at the usual time?
  • Will you tell me in advance if a different carer will be coming?
  • Will you tell me in advance if you have to cancel my help at any time?
  • What notice do I have to give if I want to cancel services altogether?

Other questions

  • Can I give my carers presents, for example, at Christmas?
  • Are your carers allowed to sign wills?
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What am I entitled to?

The local authority is here to help everyone understand their needs and, if required, provide an assessment.

For more information about what help you are entitled to, please see the Who can get help from Adult Services web pages.

Try our online self assessment

Personal care from domiciliary care agencies

  • Recording time Hampshire County Council arranged carers spend with you