Providers of care at home services can expect requests for their services from a variety of sources, including care and health professionals but, increasingly, directly from the prospective service users or those involved in their care and support. These include people who make their own care arrangements from personal budgets as well as those who will be paying for their care from private sources.

Many providers also offer a broad portfolio of services, including live-in care, night care and lower level support such as housework and shopping, so an enquiry or request for service can often involve a complex matching of needs and resources that result in the provision of good quality person-centred care and support, which promotes individual wellbeing.

Care providers, therefore, must have efficient and effective systems and procedures for handling enquiries and requests for services which result in the provision of the required service. This topic describes a process for handling enquiries and referrals, and the practical arrangements that must be made to provide a new service.

More detailed information on the different stages involved can be obtained by following the links to the other relevant topics. Links are also provided to useful forms and documents, which might be needed to assist the process.

Care providers should follow all government guidance as updated to develop their start of service procedures during the Covid-19 emergency. See Coronavirus (COVID-19): Provision of Home Care.

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