Ivy Palmer is defined by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an Introductory Agency, in accordance with the Health & Social Care Act 2008. 


We are classed as an introductory agency, we do not manage your care but instead we vet and match self-employed carers that you might want to use.

It means you are in direct control and in charge of the care being delivered on a daily basis and our Care Partnership Team is here to support you. This puts you in the driving seat about what and how you would like things done for you. You do not have to wait for us to react, you are managing your own life and working with your carer to get exactly what you want.

What is an introductory agency and what does it mean?

Instead of employing the carers we work alongside, we pair customers with care needs to self-employed carers and it is you, the customer, who gets to decide who they want in their own homes caring for you.

Your live-in carer is self-employed and are contracted directly with by you, as outlined in your terms and conditions.

You work in a team, leading your chosen live in carer, perhaps along with family members or trusted others to manage the everyday care being delivered. This includes managing personal care, risks, care contunuity and everything else that might be needed to ensure you or your loved one is happy. Again, you get to decide what and how you would like things done.

All Introductory Agencies cannot have an “ongoing role in the direction or control of the service provided” but we will support as part of the wider team around you or your loved one to help you get the care your want from the carer that you choose.

Our Care Partnership Team is on hand, available and on your side, giving you support and advice and working alongside you to help find the carer whom we all hope would grow into a trusted and close member of the home. We cannot pick someone or tell you who that is, everyone is different,you will have your own preferences. What we can do with pleasure is work with you, suggesting matches and listening to feedback until we find the person that best suits you and you home.

The difference between Ivy Palmer and a managed care company

Introductory agencies put you in charge

  1. We work hard to match you to your choice of self-employed carer, and carry on helping as long as you want.
  2. Help co-ordinate payroll your home self-employed carer so you do not have to worry about this.
  3. Support you with our Care Partnership Team in your own care management and choices. You are in the driving seat.
  4. Regular contact and feedback tracking to help reassure that you are happy with the service and your carer.
  5. Work flexibly. It’s fine to change your mind about your carer and we will support you if you do.

A fully-managed company with directly employed carers is in more control of you care

  1. Monitors the person having care to make decisions based on their assessment.
  2. Assess of their client’s needs and develops their own prescriptive care plan in agreement.
  3. Direct changes to their carer and decide how long and who cares for you, listening to your input but being in charge
  4. Make thier own assessments on the type of carer you need based upon their assessment
  5. Act on behalf of the care recipient, changing the care received based on their assessments
  6. Manage a prescriptive care plan in consultation with the individual that details what, when and how should be done.
  7. Train and manage carers centrally

Your Live in Carer  and medication

We direct that your self-employed carer can only prompt medication and not administer it, they cannot decide to dispense a dose of medication that been prescribed as we do not assess the self-employed carer’s competence for administering medication. To be clear, they can prompt mediation but they must not and cannot make someone take medication or administer it to them on their behalf

Medication advice for your loved one

If you are a helping your loved family member with medication, or if you a self-employed carer helping prompt medication you are advised to do your own research but we can offer some advice…

For legal clarity, the regulations state that:

A self-employed carer, who is not a healthcare professional, or a healthcare professional working in their professional capacity (for example a nurse working in their professional capacity as a nurse rather than as a self-employed carer) can provide assistance with medication administration to a person, without requiring registration for the regulated activity ‘Treatment of disease, disorder or injury’ where;

a) the medication has been prescribed and dispensed for the person or is a ‘homely remedy’ (including over-the-counter medicines, complementary therapies and herbal preparations); and 

b) the person using the service would normally be able to administer the medication in question for themselves, but where, due to circumstances or personal choice, the person has consented for the medicine to be administered to them, or 

c) the person would ordinarily be able to administer the medication for themselves but due to circumstances, or where the person is unable to make a decision in relation to taking their medication, it has been agreed to be in the person’s best interest for the medicine to be administered to them.

We are only allowed to recommend to self-employed carers that they acquire the required training and competency if they are to help with medication administration to their clients.

Introductory agencies are not able to insist that medication training is completed by self-employed carers. Customers that proceed with the use of their self-employed carer only do so on the understanding that we have no oversight, control or management of this aspect of care. Therefore, any ongoing requirement to provide medication support is a matter to be discussed and agreed between yourself and your self-employed carer.