Frequently Asked Questions

What area does Astor Care & Nursing Agency cover?

Astor Agency currently provides our service in most of Surrey and in north Hampshire near the Surrey borders.

What training and qualifications does the management team have?

All our Care Co-ordinators and Field Care Supervisors are either Registered Nurses or Qualified Health Care Assistants and the Registered Manager has a post graduate certificate in Management Studies.

What training do you provide for your Health Care Assistants?

Astor Agency recognise that good training is an essential element in delivering a quality service. We are proud of the standard of our training and due to demand from other care organisations, we are now established as a training provider in Surrey.

New staff must successfully complete the Skills for Care Induction programme and in addition to attending regular refresher training, they are also encouraged to attend specialist training such as Dementia Care, Medication, End of Life Care and many others to better meet their clients needs. Once new staff have gained experience, they are encouraged and supported to obtain a Diploma in Health and Social Care.

Is Astor Agency registered with the Care Quality Commission?

Yes. Our registration number is 1-191122878. You can find out more about the Care Quality Commission and their essential standards of quality and safety on their website (see useful links) and you can use this link to view our last inspection report.

How do I know you are competent people?

We have more than 20 years experience in providing home care support to a wide variety of users with a broad range of requirements. All our employees attend regular training and are DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked. We are inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

What standard does the company work to?

Astor Agency works to the CQC standards of care, and is registered with and works closely with the UKHCA, conforming to its code of practice. On the last inspection with star ratings, we were given the highest rating excellent (three stars).

How long has the company been trading?

Astor Agency and Nursing has been trading since 1990.

Is the company insured?

Astor Agency and Nursing holds substantial Employers and Public Liability Insurance.

Can I approach you directly and for just a talk?

We would be pleased to discuss your own or your family's requirements on an entirely no-obligation basis.

How will my care be managed?

Your personal care programme will be managed by a Care Co-ordinator who works closely with our Field Care Supervisors.

How are care assistants recruited and selected?

All Astor Agency and Nursing Agency staff are recruited locally. Our in depth recruitment process for both Care Assistants and Registered Nurses includes face to face interviews, basic skills assessment (including English communication), identity checks, criminal record checks, and a minimum of two satisfactory verified references.

Do you complete criminal record checks?

All staff are checked for criminal records using the Disclosure and Barring Service before they can begin work visiting clients in their own homes.

What happens if we don't get on with our carer?

If for any reason the service user does not feel comfortable with their care worker Astor Agency will find a suitable replacement. We will endeavour to match the care worker to meet the service users unique requirements.

Can I choose the care worker I want?

We will select an appropriate Home Care Assistant to meet your care needs and one of our Field Care Supervisors will normally introduce them to you. If they are not suitable however, we will strive to find a replacement as quickly as is practical.

What tasks will they complete?

Your carer will assist with personal care such as washing, dressing and practical support such as meal preparation, shopping and light housework.

Where they are required, we can provide additional one off or ad hoc visits, constant or periodic care, Sleep-overs (night cover) and Live-in Care.

We also provide specialist services where service users may require additional care from Health Care Assistants who have had specialist training in caring for a specific condition or who have skills in using special equipment.

Our respite care provides continuity of care whilst relieving the existing carer or family member.

How much will it cost?

Our brochure pack contains a current price list and the prices shown are fully inclusive. The prices shown are the price you pay (there are no hidden extras).

Do charges include Value Added Tax?

Under current legislation domiciliary care fees are exempt from value added tax.

Can I get financial support from Social Services?

You may qualify for support from your local social services department, so we would advise you to contact them directly. (Please see the links page).

How long can I get support for?

We are able to support you on a short, medium or long term basis, in line with your requirements.

If your care is not directly by Social Services we will invoice you either once a week or every four weeks. You can pay for your care by cheque, standing order with your bank, online banking payment to our account or postal order.

How do I complain?

If you have cause to complain about any aspect of our service, do not hesitate to call us on 01483 797950.

Can I only contact the office during business hours?

You may contact Astor Agency during our office hours which are 8.30 – 4.30 Monday to Friday and in emergencies, out of office hours. You can be sure of speaking with knowledgeable staff, who will be able to deal with any issues.

Do you have a confidentiality policy?

Astor Care and Nursing Agency take confidentiality extremely seriously. We have robust policies and procedures linked with staff training to protect the information held on both clients and staff. The company is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 with the Information Commissioner's Office and our registration number is Z9552662.

What happens when my care assistant is sick or on holiday?

We do our best to keep the number of care staff who visit to a minimum, in order to provide continuity, but if they are unavailable our aim is to inform you at the earliest opportunity and let you know who will be coming instead. Where possible we will try to send someone who has been before.

Can the times and days be flexible to meet my needs?

Your needs are our priority and care is always arranged according to your wishes whether you need frequent short visits, long term care, respite care or support for irregular but planned events.

Can my Care Assistant take me out shopping or to an appointment?

Your Health Care Assistant can accompany you for any trips out including shopping, appointments, social or family gatherings, swimming etc.

What happens if we want to cancel the service?

One week's written cancellation notice is required for all our services.