At Home Care Direct we are going from strength to strength with more and more carers and families, experiencing the benefits of working directly through our online platform, without the need for an agency in-between.

Of course, it’s easy for us to extol the virtues of our model of care but it’s when the benefits are illustrated in the day-to-day reality of home care provision that the evidence becomes irrefutable and begs the need to sit up and ask, what really drives quality home care provision?

Take two carers on the platform in County Mayo, let’s call them Mary and Margaret. Previously, they both worked for a local agency earning about €11/hour with little or no control over where or with whom they worked. Both of the women were becoming disillusioned with the sector and were on the point of changing jobs.

Lucky for us, they heard about Home Care Direct and applied to join. After passing our recruitment process they got their profiles up on the platform and after getting to know how the platform worked, they began to approach possible clients to work with them directly. After a slow start, they on boarded their first clients and haven’t looked back. Indeed, some families who previously were with their old employers, jumped ship and started working with the girls directly.

Mary and Margaret have gone from earning €11/hr to earning between €21 and €25/hr directly with local clients. They work very much as a team and have now built up a stable of 7 local clients to whom I guarantee, they are delivering the best home care in Ireland!

They have taken it on themselves to develop and order Home Care Direct branded fleeces and tee shirts and have put up leaflets advertising their services all over their locality. Mary recently mentioned that she had just installed new blinds and windows in her house thanks to her increased earnings, something which she hadn’t been able to do previously.

Mary and Margaret have become local mini – entrepreneurs, delivering a high quality, invaluable service to their local community. They are spending their earnings locally, generating further benefits. Both women are newly in love with their careers and intend to further expand their group of local carers working for themselves.

Elsewhere in Kerry, we have a group of 5 local carers working as a tight knit self-managing team, delivering incredibly personalised home care in their locality. They support each other for cover and referrals. No money is lost to unnecessary corporate overheads. The carers are proactive with and dedicated to, their clients. There are no problems with absenteeism or care turnover. The carers have accepted the increased responsibility and responded to it. Their job satisfaction is off the charts.

It’s a no brainer to trust in and empower, local people to deliver home care in their communities. It’s a no brainer to ensure funds go to where they have most effect, carers pockets. It’s a no brainer to recognise great care comes from happy, motivated local carers and not form filling. It’s a no brainer to foster tangible local economic development.

The home care sector needs to tap into the wealth of local talent out there by removing where appropriate, the straightjackets of overzealous safeguarding, stifling corporate standardisation, leakage of funds to blackholes that contribute little to quality and instead, move towards trusting and empowering local citizens and communities.