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Why Choose Curam?

  • How is Curam different to a traditional agency?

    Curam is an online platform for those seeking care and self-employed carers. We have harnessed technology to give you, as a client, complete choice and control over who your carer is.

    Every carer on the platform has been interviewed and fully vetted by our recruitment team - they have had their DBS checked, have the right to work in the UK and any qualifications mentioned on their profile have been backed up with certificates.

    Care agencies typically send in different carers on a daily basis. With Curam, you have complete control and the opportunity for consistent and trusted carers of your choice.

  • Is homecare better than care homes?

    Homecare can provide a better quality of life as it allows someone to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own home, surrounded by neighbours, friends and pets. Homecare is also the most flexible care option and is typically more cost effective than care homes.

    Homecare also makes it easier to see family members, especially during difficult times such as the coronavirus pandemic.

    A care home can be a good option on the occasion that someone is unable to or does not want to stay at home.

  • What do clients think about using Curam?

    In our Trustpilot reviews, clients told us the 7 best things about finding a carer with Curam included:

    · Speed and efficiency

    · The high quality experienced carers

    · The ability to interview carers

    · The Curam app and platform

    · Choice and flexibility of care

    · Client support services

    · Low, fair prices

    Read our ‘What do Clients Think About Using Curam to Hire Carers?’ blog to find out more.

  • Why should I choose Curam?

    Choice: 

    We believe that you are the right person to choose your own carer. With Curam, you have complete control over who you hire as your carer, so you can choose the best person for you. 

    Trust: 

    We only allow carers onto the platform who have been vetted. You or your family get to choose and interview your own carer, check their qualifications, and speak to the carers' referees for extra security. 

    Speed: 

    If you share your care needs on our site, you can hire a carer within hours.  This is great for emergency care, or post-hospital care.

    Quality: 

    Curam carers have on average 10 years of experience working in the care industry. You can clearly see their qualifications and experience on their profile. This means that when choosing a carer, you know you are in safe hands.  

    Cost: 

    Curam gives you real choice & control, gives you access to the best technology in the sector and allows clients to book consistent care from the same carer. Also, carers on the platform cost significantly less than those from an agency.

    Support: 

    Our technology takes care of all the admin associated with hiring a self-employed carer. This includes: carer insurance, service agreements and invoices, which can be easily approved by you. Also,the Curam app can securely store your payment details so that paying your carer is quick and easy. If you ever have any questions or doubts, our client support team is here to answer your queries. Just drop a line to client@curamcare.com. 

How Curam Works

  • What happens if I am not happy with my carer?

    The selection of the best carer for you is a very personal decision. Like any relationship, sometimes the dynamic can change.

    If at any time you are not happy with your care assistant you can, if you wish, change them for another carer on the site. We recommend that you give at least 48 hours' notice.

    You can cancel your contract with a Curam carer at any time and are only obliged to pay for the care that has already been delivered.

  • Is there a minimum contract length?

    No, you can hire a Curam carer for as short or as long a period as you require. The length of service is decided between yourself and the carer and clearly stated on the service agreement that you draw up together.

    However, there is a minimum shift length of one hour.

  • How do I search for a live-in carer?

    Use the care-type filter in the search bar and select ‘live-in’ or share your care needs. There are hundreds of live-in care workers on the platform.

    Live-in carers tend to travel to the job location for a defined contract period, so the distance shown can be disregarded when searching.

  • What if there are no carers in my area?

    We are approving carers from across the UK onto our platform on a daily basis – if you do not find any carers in your area, please share your care needs and suitable carers will apply directly to you.

    After creating a job ad, it will be sent out not only to our database of approved carers, but also to our database of 50,000 carers who are in the process of getting approved. If they show interest in the job posted, unapproved carers can upload the relevant documents and book their interview to be approved and apply for the job.

  • Can I hire more than one carer at the same time?

    Yes, you can either search and message multiple carers or share your care needs advertising for multiple carers.  You can then interview the carers and approve their service agreements according to your needs

  • Can I choose my carer?

    At Curam, the central ethos of our business is that you, the client, are the best person to choose and manage your carer or personal assistant. Sometimes, a next of kin chooses a carer on behalf of someone they themselves help to care for.

    When an individual or their family can and wants to choose and manage their carer, we believe that Curam is their best option.

  • Is my carer/personal assistant self-employed?

    Yes, all the care workers on the Curam platform are self-employed.

    We check that every approved carer has the legal right to work in the UK and check their Unique Tax Reference number.

  • Tips for interviewing a carer

    We believe it is essential that you feel as comfortable as possible with bringing a carer or personal assistant into your home. Interviewing a carer before hiring them is a good way to check that someone is the right person for you.

    Before interviewing a potential carer, it is a good idea to prepare your questions to make sure you ask everything you want to and gather all the information you need to make a decision.

    Having read the carer’s profile, you will be aware of their experience, hobbies/interests and their personal statement, but an interview will allow you to delve deeper and find out more about a carer, their experience and personality.

    Here are some tips for interviewing a carer:

    • Interviews can be very nerve-wracking for some people, so try to make the carer feel at ease

    • Avoid asking yes/no questions, try asking something in a way that allows them to give a more detailed answer - how, what, when, why and where are good words with which to start your questions

    • For example, instead of asking ‘Do you have experience with dementia care?’, you can ask ‘What was your experience of caring for someone with dementia like? How did it go?’

    • Try to discover whether the carer properly understands what matters to you the most

    • Make sure that the carer will be able to meet you or your loved one’s care requirements

    You can always ask for a carer’s references if you think it will help you in an interview, or when making a decision.

  • Do I have to pay for a trial shift?

    Yes, you are obliged to pay for any care that has been received.

  • Should I meet a carer before approving a service agreement?

    Yes. We advise that all clients meet their carers in the care location to discuss the clients care package before approving a service agreement.

    If an in-person interview cannot happen, we recommend at the very least you should Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime a carer before hiring them.  All carers on this platform have either a Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime account.  The carer will create an intro-meeting via the Curam app
     

  • What questions should I ask in a carer interview?

    Every client will have different priorities and will need to ask different questions. Make sure you tailor interview questions to your individual situation. However, if you are struggling to come up with questions, here are some suggested questions you could ask a carer in an interview:

    • How long have you been a carer?

    • Having looked at your profile, I have read your expertise, but can you please explain more in depth?

    • What skills do you feel you could bring to the job?

    • Are you able to do heavy lifting? If so, please describe a time when you have had to do so (if required)

    • What are your cooking skills like? (if required)

    • How do you get on with pets? (if this applies)

    • If a live-in carer is required – How happy are you about living away from home?

    • Do you have your own car? If not, how do you anticipate getting here and out and about?

    • If you or the care recipient have precise issues, ask if they have ever worked with someone similar before. For example: ‘how would you deal with forgetfulness?’, or ‘have you dealt with an aggressive client before?’

    • Do you have a buddy set up as an option for your client to choose as cover for your holidays or illness?

    • Do you have any questions for me? - Invite questions at the end, the carer must be happy to work for you as well as you be happy to hire them.

    It is also important to discuss:

    • The carer's preferred rota/hours

    • Their rates and any additional expenses such as travel and food

    • If they charge an additional cost for having to get up in the night (most live in carers are fine with a bit of disturbance, however some charge per call)

    • Time off (most live-in carers expect 2 hours off a day)

    • Mobile phone use (many clients restrict to emergencies and time off) and use of broadband (if there is any at the house)

    • Duties expected in addition to the care work, for example: housekeeping, minding pets, driving.

    We find that if everyone is happy and on the same page, this will help to create more enjoyable long-term care relationships. An interview can help you check that you like the carer and that the carer feels comfortable and prepared for the job.

  • How do I search for care workers or personal assistants?

    Enter the postcode where care is required in our search bar and select the type of care (hourly/live-in/overnight) as well as any filters (language/experience) that you may need.

    The platform will then match you with suitable carers and you can scroll down to see their profiles.

    You will need to be registered as a client to message a carer. You can also share your care needs via the Curam platform.

  • What if I need to change my care package?

    If you decide that you need to change your care package, you should discuss this with your carer. They may be able to add or subtract hours from your shift invoice and afford you some flexibility.

    If you decide that you need another carer, you can hire them through the platform quickly and easily as per your needs.

  • What tasks will my carer carry out?

    It is up to you to discuss with your carer which tasks you would like them to do. They will then be written on the service agreement between you and your carer.

    However, if you would like some guidance on some of the tasks a carer might normally carry out, take a look at our care types homepage where you can read articles explaining more about the care type you require.

  • What areas of the UK do you cover?

    We cover all of the United Kingdom of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We currently have carers in every postcode in the UK and hundreds of carers and personal assistants are signing up to the platform every month. Please search for carers to find the availability of carers in your area.

  • What happens if I have a dispute with my carer?

    Ultimately the relationship between the client and the carer is a working relationship. If the relationship is not functioning, then our advice is for you to replace your current carer with another care worker.

    If the dispute is of a serious nature, for example, a criminal act, then you must report it at once to the police and Curam. We will investigate it immediately.

    We take all reports of unacceptable behaviour by carers extremely seriously. If we receive a formal complaint against a carer from a client we will immediately inform their other clients and reserve the right to either prevent the care worker from acquiring new clients or in cases of a serious nature remove them from the platform at once.

  • Is there a minimum shift length?

    Yes, the minimum shift length is one hour.

    We believe that short 15- or 30-minute visits do not give the carer enough time to properly care for the client. Our minimum shift length ensures a better standard of care and a more meaningful relationship between the caregiver and care receiver.

  • What is person-centred care?

    According to the NHS Health Education England, person-centred care is ‘about focusing care on the needs of an individual. Ensuring that people's preferences, needs and values guide clinical decisions, and providing care that is respectful of and responsive to them.’

    We wholeheartedly believe that person-centred care is the best way to care for someone. It can prevent future illness and ensures that the care-recipient's emotional and physical needs are looked after.

    Our business model creates the perfect environment for person-centred care, as we believe that you are the best person to choose a carer who fully understands you and can be respectful and responsive to your needs.

  • How do I share my care needs?

    Sharing your care needs is the best way to connect with carers available near you on the Curam platform.

    Click on the Curam Express Plan on the home page and follow the instructions.  In two minutes, you will have shared your care needs which will go out to the approved carers near you.

The Curam App

  • Why should I download the app?

    If you download the Curam app you will have full access to all of the features that Curam has to offer. You can search and message carers, create job ads, approve service agreements, check shift invoices and pay your carer – all with a few simple taps in our client app.

    Within the app you are able to keep a list of your favourite carers and easily view all of the carers you have messaged. You can also receive notifications every time a carer messages you, creates a service agreement, or sends you a shift invoice for you to approve.

    The app can, if desired, remember your payment details, leading to quicker and easier payments for you.

    Click here to download the app today.

Safety and Privacy

  • Can we know if and when a carer has completed their visit?

    We are currently developing a check-in/check-out feature for our Curam client app. It will let you know when the carer arrives at the care recipient’s location and when they leave. This feature will be rolled out later this year.

    Temporarily, if you would like to check up on a carer’s whereabouts, we recommend that you message them via our app or give them a quick phone call.

  • How does Curam approve and vet its carers? / Do you carry out background checks?

    Similar to any standard agency, our Carer Support Team background check and interview all of our carers.

    This includes Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks in England & Wales, Disclosure Scotland and NI Access in Northern Ireland. We also check identity documents, rights to work in the UK, tax and employment status and, if relevant, driving license and relevant qualifications.

    We also insist on two independent referees (at least one of them a UK resident) who are willing to vouch for the carer. Our carers will soon be individually reviewed by their previous clients on the platform.

  • What is a DBS/PVG check?

    A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is a check of a person’s criminal record which shows details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings held on central police records (apart from protected convictions and cautions.

    A PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check is the Scottish equivalent of a DBS check.

    An Access NI (Northern Ireland) check is the Northern Ireland equivalent.

    We make sure each Curam carer has an appropriate up-to-date DBS/PVG/Access NI check uploaded to their profile before approving them onto the platform.

  • Can I contact a carer’s references before hiring them?

    Yes. We strongly recommend that all clients contact referees directly. All care workers on the platform will have provided two referees (of which one must be a UK resident).

    The carer can provide their referees’ contact details via the Curam app. Please contact us by email at client@curamcare.com if you have any issues with this.

  • Is Curam safe?

    Yes, in fact we believe that Curam is safer than the traditional agency model.

    You or your family get to choose and interview your own carer, you can check their qualifications and speak to the carers' referees for extra security. Our technology also allows you to be in constant communication with the carer via the Client App.

    See our reviews on Doctify and Trustpilot for reassurance.

  • As a client do carers see my personal and contact information?

    No. We anonymise the personal details of every client who share their care needs.

    Carers will only see your personal information if you decide to provide it to them. When you message a carer through the Curam platform, they are only able to see your first name and the first initial of your surname.

     

  • Is Curam registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the Care Inspectorate or the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)?

    The Curam platform matches clients with self-employed carers, who then contract directly with each other - therefore our platform is not required to be registered with the Care Quality Commission, the Care Inspectorate or the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).

    However, we at Curam aspire to, and expect the carers on our platform to equally aspire to, the CQC, the Care Inspectorate and the RQIA codes of conduct.

    If we hear that any of our carers or clients have acted in breach of these codes, we will investigate immediately.

    We take all reports of unacceptable behaviour by carers extremely seriously. If we receive a formal complaint against a carer from a client, we will inform their other clients at once and reserve the right to either prevent the care worker from acquiring new clients or in cases of a serious nature remove them from the platform immediately.

Payments and Costs

  • What if my carer does not fulfil the service agreement terms?

    If you are unsatisfied with your carer’s service, we recommend that you give notice to that carer and search for a carer more suited to your needs on our website.

  • How do I pay my carer?

    When you have found a suitable carer, they will create a service agreement and shift invoice via the platform. This will be sent through to your Curam account, and you will be advised via email.

    Please then log into your account, click the Agreement tab and review the service agreement. If all is in order you can then approve it.

    · You will then be taken to the invoice. Once you have checked it, click on approve and pay.

    · You can either enter card details or bank details to make the payment.

    · Your payment is managed by the secure payment system at Mangopay. Curam does not hold any credit card or bank details.

    · Your payment is held securely until the shift is completed and is then released to the carer 2 working days after the end of the shift minus our fee.

     

    For information on how to pay via BACS or Local Authority Direct Payments, please contact us at accounts@curamcare.com

    If you receive NHS CHC funding, hiring a self-employed carer needs to be agreed by the CCG through the CHC team. Please contact the Direct Payment Coordinator in the CHS Direct Payment service.

    Off-platform and cash payments are not accepted. If you would like to employ a carer directly and take them offsite, you will be liable to pay a recruitment fee of £2,200+VAT.

    Please see our terms and conditions for more information, specifically point 9.3.

  • Who sets the rates for Curam carers' earnings?

    Every carer on the platform sets their own rates, many will negotiate. Bear in mind carers organise their own diaries and rates will be determined by shift lengths, flexibility and complexity of care.

    The average rate on our platform is £19.74 per hour, with more experienced carers charging more and less qualified carers charging less.  

    We have set the minimum rate on our platform to be in line with the National Living Wage(£11.44). The minimum that carers can charge per hour is therefore £14.15 (Our 10% client fee + VAT will be added to your invoices).

  • What happens if I pay my carer in cash?

    We do not allow off-platform payments between clients and carers that have made contact via the Curam platform, this includes cash payments.

    If we find out that off-platform transactions have taken place, then both the client and the carer will be removed from the platform and you may be liable to a £2,200+VAT placement fee. Please see our terms and conditions for more information, specifically point 9.3.

  • Do I need to pay Employers’ National Insurance?

    No, since all the carers on our platform are self-employed, you are not liable to pay Employers’ National Insurance.

  • How much does my carer get paid?

    The carer is paid the rate they have agreed with you minus our 12.5%+VAT carer fee which covers the platform, insurance and transaction costs. 

    For example, if you pay the carer £18.50 an hour, the carer will receive £15.72 an hour.

    It is Curam’s policy that no carer on the platform earns less than the National Living Wage, currently £11.44 per hour, with the addition of our commission and VAT this rounds up to a minimum rate on the platform of £14.15 per hour.

  • Can I take a carer off the platform?

    Yes you can, however you will be liable to pay a recruitment fee of £2,200+VAT per carer.

    The self-employed carers' insurance policy and secure payment system are only valid for transactions through the Curam platform.

  • What are the costs of care with Curam?

    Carers set their own rates on our platform. These vary according to the carer’s location, experience and qualifications. 

    The average rate charged on Curam for hourly visits is currently £19.74 an hour and £1127 per week for live-in care. Our 10% client fee + VAT will be added to your invoices.  

  • How do I get a refund?

    Carers payments are released to them 3 working days after a shift ends. If you require a partial or full refund, please contact us as soon as possible. To contact us please open the relevant invoice and click the “contact support” button, please submit your query – this will put the invoice on hold and we can arrange a refund.

Expenses and Charges

Insurance

  • How do I make an insurance claim?

    Your policy is insured by SAGIC Limited and administered by Sure Wise Limited. If you need to register a claim, please:

    Call: 01268 200020 or Email: Claims@surewise.com

    Please have your policy number ready or simply quote Curam

  • Are the Curam carers insured?

    Yes. Every self-employed Curam carer is fully insured for the hours that they transact through the platform. The insurance is activated by the approval of a service agreement and accompanying shift invoice provided by your carer. Our insurance provider is Surewise.

  • What are the terms of the insurance?

    Curam carers are insured with Surewise Limited.

    The cover includes (with no excess, nor hidden fees):

    Public Liability

    Up to £1,000,000 covering claims against you if you have accidently damaged someone or their property.

    Legal Expenses

    If you ever need to go to court Surewise can provide up to £100,000 to help with the cost.

    Personal Accident

    In the event you suffer an accident at work they provide up to £7,500 to cover the cost.

    Personal Possessions

    If a personal possession is damaged or lost while working they can provide £250 to cover the cost.

    Client Possessions

    If a client's personal possession is damaged or lost while at work Surewise can provide £250 to cover the cost.

    24/7 Legal & Tax Helpline

    Provided by ARAG Support - 0330 303 1449

    No Excess

    There is no contribution required to make a successful claim.

    Please contact one of our team at: accounts@curamcare.com for more information or for the complete terms.

Care Funding

Microteams

  • How do I pay the replacement carer from my carer's micro-team?

    Your replacement carer will simply send you a service agreement and shift invoice via the Curam platform whilst your regular carer is away.

    Your main carer will have to amend their invoice to ensure you do not pay twice.

    You then approve the service agreement and shift agreement as usual and pay through the platform.

  • What do I do if my carer is sick or wants to go on holiday? (What is a micro-team?)

    All of the carers on our platform are encouraged to work in a micro-team with other carers. Each carer’s team is formed of other carers that they trust and believe will maintain the same high standards of care that they currently deliver to you.

    When you first start receiving care with a Curam carer, your carer will inform you as to who is in their micro-team. You will be able check their profiles and select them as/when you need cover.

    If you do not believe your carer’s micro-team is suitable, you can of course select another carer from the platform instead.

Personal Assistants

  • What is a personal assistant?

    A personal assistant is a term used for someone who is not a carer in the traditional sense of the word. They often help adults, young adults and children who have disabilities with day-to-day tasks.

    Here are some of the tasks a PA can help with:

    • Cooking, cleaning and keeping a tidy home

    • Admin, budgeting and paperwork

    • Social skills, communication and maintaining relationships with family and friends

    • Companionship, interests and hobbies

    • Study skills, finding work and maintaining accommodation

    • Prompting someone to take their medication

    • Giving peace of mind to a client and their family

    • Specialist care and support with treatments

    There are many self-employed personal assistants using the Curam platform all over the UK. You can filter the results in your carer search to find the perfect personal assistant for you.

    This way, you can choose who you want your personal assistant to be. You can make sure that a person’s skills, experience and personality suit your needs and values.

Curam for Businesses

Support

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