So you’ve used Bettal’s registration pack, to get registered with the CQC as a provider of domiciliary care, now what? According to many of our clients, this is when the hard work really starts. It does not matter that you are registered or that you know what you are doing, now you need Service Users.
There is a lot of work which goes into getting Service Users for a domiciliary care agency. It is never just a case of registering with the CQC and having people queuing up at your door. Getting referrals and converting these to actual Service Users takes time, some money and a lot of effort.
Know your business
Having your CQC registration will mean that you are registered to provide certain services to defined groups of people. This will give you a focus for your discussions with commissioners and for advertising.
You can only advertise for those service user bands which you have CQC registration. If you are registered for 18-65 and 65+ you cannot advertise for children or young people and if your registration does not include mental health, then you cannot accept Service User’s who care needs arise primarily from a mental health condition.
Try Multiple Streams
We all know that putting a card in the newsagent’s window is unlikely to drive much work your way, but if it is £10 for the month, why would you not? Most new domiciliary care agencies only think about one or two ways of raising awareness that they are in existence, this is perhaps the first mistake.
The second mistake is to take a big expensive advert in a local paper. People looking for carers only do so when they need one, so you are always better of with a small, cheap, advert which is placed every week and which drives people to your website or to phone you.
Home care www.dominocare.org.uk 01234 5678910
As most people are online, or have family members who are, pointing people to your website is enough to get them the information they need.
Have a great website
Let’s be clear good-looking websites with clear Service User facing content will attract more Service User’s than ones which are drab and where the information people need is hard to find.
Great looking websites use pictures and have headings which make it clear what information can be found on what page.
Good websites also have a high degree of visibility to search engines. This means it is worth spending some time and money making sure your webpages are search engine optimised. You can get someone to do this for you or you can learn the skills yourself.
The best websites also post blogs regularly, these get people’s interest and they also help with search engine optimisation. You should also ensure your business is listed, including for free, on Google.
Great care providers have a strong community presence including on social media. This means having accounts on Facebook, Instagram, X, Next door etc. The thing many providers miss is that this presence needs to about their local community and not a community with other registered managers and domiciliary care agencies – useful as these are, they don’t bring you work.
Social media presence means posting stories and ideas as well as commenting on other posts and getting involved in, non-controversial, discussions. You can quickly learn to do these things yourself.
Be Creative and bold
There are many organisations in every community which play a role in supporting people who have care needs. Providing sponsorship for an event or giving a talk to interested people not only gets attention in the room, but also usually gets on to social media and gets spread by word of mouth.
Develop a good reputation
This not only means getting a good or outstanding rating from the CQC, but also with the local authority and continuing healthcare team for only taking on work you can handle and being highly reliable.
Both private and public clients will look for your CQC rating so as well as meaning you keep your registration; it is also a means to draw in new business.
Your good reputation is also helpful as you register with the local authority and apply for contracts. To do this you will need to find out how the Local Authority advertise contracts and what platform you need to register on to enter into the tender.
Getting and keeping business is difficult for any domiciliary care provider. It requires as much determination and creativity as much as it does ability. The best providers know that they need to exploit as many potential routes of marketing and advertising as possible and they are not afraid to make themselves known to commissioners and the local population.
If you have yet to register your domiciliary care agency or you are looking for ongoing support with policies, procedures and a whole lot more you should talk to us today.
If you would like to know more, browse our website, or get in touch:
Peter Ellis MA MSc BSc(Hons) RN
Bettal Quality Consultancy