Agenda item

How to become a Micro Carer


That the Committee notes the update on the Micro-Care project in Flintshire to give an understanding of the process to become a Micro-Carer.


The Planning and Development Officer gave background to the report stating that following the successful completion of the pilot project - funded through Foundational Economy, Cadwyn Clwyd and Flintshire to support small enterprises or sole traders to deliver direct personal care and a wider well-being service within Flintshire - additional funding had been gained through the Welsh Government Foundational Economy Challenge Fund to enable Micro-Care to be developed into established services that could be offered.


He briefly outlined the various stages on how to become a Micro-Carer before introducing the first commissioned Micro-Carer - Nat Swift to give his experience of being a Micro-Carer.  He explained that it was his friend who had suggested he become a Micro-Carer whilst helping him care for his father.  After contacting Flintshire, he started work as a Micro-Carer in 2022 and was asked if he wanted to go down the Commissioned route, stating that the bulk of his work was within Flintshire.  He had three clients in Wrexham who were privately commissioned and not given to him via Wrexham Council unlike the Flintshire clients who were a mixture of private clients, clients commissioned by Flintshire and direct payment clients.  The difference between a Micro-carer and a Care Agency worker was the variety of support that a Micro-Carer could give by getting more involved in their lives and could offer a wider range of services from emotional and physical care to domestic and clerical.


When asked by the Chair about referrals, he informed Members that he was either commissioned by Flintshire, received recommendations via NEWCIS or contacted via Internet searches but increasingly he was recommended via referrals from other Micro-Carers.


            In response to Councillor Gladys Healey’s query regarding safeguarding, he advised that all Micro Carers had to go through a recruitment and business development process and that he also received information and support as a member of NACAS (National Association of Care and Support Workers).  Both Flintshire and Wrexham also gave advice and support on policies, procedures and guidelines from which he tailored his own business.  In terms of safeguarding, he stated that being a commissioned Micro-Carer, he had to have professional indemnity insurance and public limited liability insurance which was financed by Flintshire for up to six years as his business developed.  In addition, the training process covered various aspects, eg lone working, risk assessments, manual handling, food hygiene etc, which fed into policies each Micro-Carer had. Flintshire also had a Quality Monitoring Programme whereby he was assessed on an ongoing basis.  He also kept a daily record of events for each client.


            The Planning and Development Officer advised Members of an ‘Indeed’ campaign in January and an engagement with NEWCIS via their newsletter which was delivered across the area with the main source of enquiries via word of mouth, in response to Councillor Mackie who asked how they received 25 enquires in a month.


He added that as part of their funding, they attended quarterly meetings with Welsh Government.  Through this, they approached them on a number of legislations and they had become more interested in wider conversations in developing a National position so that there could be some standardisation of care across Wales when questioned by Councillor Mackie on Welsh Government involvement.


            Nat Swift responded to the Chair’s question about what happened if he was off on sick leave by saying that it depended on individual client relationships as each client would have a personalised contingency plan with a variety of contacts that could be contacted in his absence.  He added that in his experience not all his duties were time critical so that he could work around care with the client particularly if he had a personal appointment.  They were currently looking into developing a buddy system.


            When asked how complaints were dealt with, he informed that it depended on the nature of the complaint.  If it was of a criminal nature then it went to the relevant authorities but advised that there was a complaints policy and procedure in place and if he was unable resolve it then it went to the Micro-Care team.


The recommendation in the report was moved by Councillor Gladys Healey and seconded by Councillor Rob Davies.




That the Committee notes the update on the Micro-Care project in Flintshire to give an understanding of the process to become a Micro-Carer.

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