Our latest carer and client surveys have loads of interesting insights. Insights that in general point to the need for more choice and diversity in home care in Ireland. Insights that indicate families and carers are more capable and trustworthy than the present system for commissioning gives them credit for.

Some of the principal learnings from clients were

• Families found the continuity of care they got on the platform to be the biggest attraction

• 90% of families would recommend the platform to a friend

• 80% of families preferred their experience of care through the platform as better than with a traditional full-service agency

On the carer side the feedback was that

• 98% of carers said they would recommend the Home Care Direct platform to a fellow carer

• The two most important advantages for carers of the platform were more control over their work and better pay

• 55% of carers on the platform did their own local marketing to attract clients

What is clear from the above results is that once families or carers try using the Home Care Direct -platform there is no looking back. Both cohorts find the platform significantly better than the experience from full service corporate agencies offering what they term a “manged” service.

This is something that commissioning services within the HSE need to take on board and look at moving away from the one size fits all system we have presently. Family’s needs are varied and carer’s capacities and motivations are varied and as such, we need much more diversity and choice in home care.

One telling insight is that for families, continuity of care is what they appreciate most about using the platform. This is very important taking into consideration the huge recruitment and retention problems traditional corporate providers are facing which mean the carers they are sending into families are constantly changing. The fact is continuity is probably the most important determinant of quality home care and must be fostered.

In addition, with carers leaving the sector in droves causing rising waiting lists, the hugely positive reception from carers of work for themselves directly with families offers a real practical solution to addressing those waiting lists.

Other countries are fostering a wider ecosystem of home care provision. We need to do the same in Ireland rather than leave families and carers at the mercy of monopolistic corporate providers.