1.1 The following definitions apply in these Terms and Conditions:
Assignment: The period during which the Carer provides Services to you
Agreement: The legal agreement between us and you for the provision of Services which includes these Terms and Conditions, the Service Plan and the Scale of Charges (which may be varied by us in accordance with these Terms and Conditions).
Carer: The care or support worker who provides the services to you on our behalf.
Fees: Our fees as described in clause 4 of these Terms and Conditions.
Scale of Charges: may be varied by us and notified to you in accordance with clause 4 of these Terms and Conditions.
Guide: This means the written guide to our business as amended by us from time to time. This guide is not part of this Agreement and therefore does not legally bind us however it should provide useful information to you.
Services: The services to be provided by us to you in accordance with this Agreement and in particular the Service Plan.
Service Plan: The document set out in Appendix 2 (located at the end of this Agreement) describing your needs and in particular the nature and level of the Services to be provided by us to you in order to meet those needs.
2. Basis of services
2.1 This Agreement is a legally binding agreement between us and you for the supply of Services to you.
2.2 This Agreement is considered by us to set out the whole agreement between you and us for the provision of the Services. Please check that the details in this Agreement and, in particular, the Service Plan are complete and accurate before you commit yourself to this Agreement. If you think that there is a mistake, please make sure that you ask us to confirm any changes in writing, as we only accept responsibility for statements and representations made in writing by our agents and employees.
2.3 Unless otherwise agreed in writing by one of our directors, these Terms and Conditions shall prevail over any other terms of business put forward by you.
2.4 No variation or alteration of these Terms and Conditions shall be valid unless:
2.4.1 the details of such variation have been agreed by one of our directors and you;
2.4.2 the details of the agreed variation are set out in writing; and
2.4.3 a copy of the varied terms is given to you stating the date on or after which such variations shall apply.
3. Assessment Period
3.1 The first six weeks of any Assignment shall be regarded as a trial period (Assessment Period) in order to ensure that the Services are appropriate for your needs.
3.2 Either you or we may cancel the Assignment at any time during the Assessment Period by giving the other one weeks' written notice.
3.3 If either you or we cancel the Assignment during the Assessment Period, you agree to pay the Fees to us in respect of our Services provided during the Assessment Period up to and including the date of cancellation. You shall be entitled to a refund of any overpayments.
4.1 In return for our Services, you shall pay our hourly rates (Fees) which shall have been notified to and agreed with you before entering into this Agreement. These hourly rates are set out in our Scale of Charges.
4.2 Fees will be charged by reference to time spent and time is charged in 60 minute units rounded up to the nearest whole unit or half unit.
4.3 Fees will only be charged in respect of those Services set out in our Service Plan and the stated Fees will include all elements of the charge to be made including VAT (if applicable).
4.4 We may make an extra charge for any Services or item not included in the Service Plan if this is provided as an additional service at your request provided that we have notified you in advance as to the amount of that charge.
4.5 Expenses which we incur while providing our Services shall be reimbursed to us by you. Except in exceptional circumstances (determined in our reasonable opinion), your agreement to pay such expenses will be obtained before they are incurred.
Review of Fees
4.6 We shall review our Fees at intervals to be stated in our Service Plan and in any event our Fees shall be reviewed in April of each year of the Agreement or more frequently if:
4.6.1 substantial changes in your needs occur; or
4.6.2 our costs of providing our Services to you increase; or
4.6.3 changes in the law come into force which increase, whether directly or indirectly, our costs of providing our Services.
4.7 Where there is to be an increase in our Fees, we will give you four weeks prior written notice before such increase takes effect.
4.8 Where the Fees are increased, we shall provide you with a revised Scale of Charges and shall confirm the date on which the revised Fees shall take effect.
4.9 Where you do not agree to the new Fees, you may terminate this Agreement at the end of the four week notice period referred to in Clause 4.7.
5.1 At the end of each week of an Assignment, you, or your representative on your behalf, shall sign our time sheet verifying the number of hours worked by our Carer during that week.
5.2 Your (or your representative's) signature on the time sheet is confirmation of the number of hours worked by our Carer. If you refuse to sign a time sheet because you disagree with the hours claimed, then you must inform us within 48 hours of the end of that week that you dispute the number of hours recorded on the time sheet and the reason for that dispute. You must co-operate fully and in a timely fashion with us to enable us to establish what hours were worked by our Carer.
5.3 If you are physically unable to sign the time sheet then you must appoint a person or persons to do so on your behalf. Any person so appointed must be notified to us in advance.
5.4 Your failure to sign or arrange the signing of a time sheet shall not affect your obligation to pay for our services.
5.5 You shall not be entitled to decline to sign a rota on the basis that you are dissatisfied with the Services provided by our Carer. In cases where you are dissatisfied with our Services, you should use our complaints procedure which is explained in clause 13 below.
We may request that you make a deposit payment before any Services are provided to you. The amount of such deposit shall equal our charges for our first months' service. If you fail to pay the Fees or any other amount due under the Agreement we reserve the right to deduct the amount owed to us from the deposit. In the event that a deduction is made, we will require you replenish the amount of the deposit to the original level.
7. Information provided by you
You agree and acknowledge that you have provided us with all information which may help us provide our Services (such as your likes, dislikes, lifestyle preferences, physical and other abilities and needs) prior to the making of the Service Plan and the signing of this Agreement.
8.1 We shall invoice you on a monthly basis in advance in accordance with our Fees which are in force at the time.
8.2 We shall provide our first invoice to you upon the commencement of the provision of Services.
8.3 We shall itemise any anticipated expenses (and any expenses which we have incurred in the previous month but have not already been invoiced to you) in each invoice.
8.4 Our invoices submitted to you shall be paid to us in full within 14 days of the date of the invoice.
If our invoices are not paid by the due date for payment, then we reserve the right to charge interest accruing on a daily basis at 4 per cent. above the base rate from time to time of Barclays Bank Plc. Interest shall be payable both before and after judgement.
10.1 We agree to exercise reasonable care and skill to meet your needs which have been set out in our Service Plan and to provide suitably trained, sufficiently skilled, experienced and competent Carers to provide our Services.
10.2 You agree that you will not at any time during or for a period of 12 months following the Agreement employ or otherwise engage the Carer, directly or indirectly, to provide the Services or similar services to you on a private basis.
We will respect your privacy and confidentiality but you agree that we may disclose confidential information including sensitive personal data about you to the Carer or to any other person if we believe such disclosure is appropriate for the performance or better or safe performance of the Services or the protection of our Carers or you / others.
12. Service Plan and Guide
12.1 The Services will be as set out in the Service Plan.
12.2 The Service Plan will include details about the type of help requested by you and agreed to be provided by us, its frequency, the time of its delivery and ways of bringing problems to our attention.
12.3 The Service Plan will be drawn up in conjunction with you, your advocates and relatives (as may be appropriate) and our Carers. The Service Plan will be regularly reviewed by us in consultation with you and, where applicable, other appropriate external social or health care professionals.
12.4 A review of the Service Plan shall take place initially six weeks after commencement of the Services and thereafter on the anniversary of the date of commencement of the Services. Additional reviews may take place when your circumstances change or we reasonably consider it appropriate or desirable.
12.5 If following a review any changes to the Service Plan are agreed by both you and us, you will receive written details of the changes in the form of an amended Service Plan.
12.6 The Guide shall be supplied to you at the start of the Services and may be amended from time to time. Any changes shall be notified to you as soon as possible either by the re-issuing of the guide, the issuing of amended pages, or otherwise as we shall determine.
13. Contacting us
13.1 We operate a feedback procedure by which you or someone acting on your behalf can make a complaint or suggestion in relation to your care or welfare throughout the length of the Agreement. Details of this procedure will be set out in the Guide which will be supplied to you. Upon request we will also provide a copy of the full procedure to any representative who is acting on your behalf.
13.2 Should you at any time have a reasonable cause to complain that the Services are unsatisfactory, you should contact the Registered Care Manager within 24 hours of the complaint arising in one of the following ways:
by writing to:
The Registered Care Manager
North London Homecare and Support Limited
or by calling:
0208 443 3380 between 9.a.m and 5.pm Monday to Friday; or 07071 223174 at any other time.
by writing to:
The Registered Care Manager
North London Homecare and Support Limited
G7 Peartree Business Centre,
or by calling:
01279 452105 between 9.a.m and 5.pm Monday to Friday; or 07071 700 555 at any other time.
Where a complaint is initially made by phone, a written complaint should also be forwarded to the above address within 72 hours of the complaint arising with any written evidence to support the complaint.
13.3 You should telephone us immediately if a Carer fails to attend or leaves you prematurely otherwise than as set out in the Service Plan.
13.4 If you wish to contact a Carer, you should do so through us. You will be given a telephone number which you may contact us at all times during which a Carer is providing Services to you.
14.1 If you wish to cancel a visit by a Carer then you must give 48 (forty eight) hours notice of cancellation (except in the event of death or admission to hospital).
14.2 We reserve the right to charge in full for any agreed Carer visit in accordance with the agreed Fees if you give us less than 48 (forty eight) hours notice of your cancellation of that visit.
14.3 Where notice of cancellation is given in accordance with clause 14.2 above, no charge shall be made to you in respect of the cancelled visit and any Fee which has been pre-paid by you to us shall, at your option, be credited to you or set against the following months invoice.
15.1 We may terminate this Agreement at any time by giving four weeks notice if:
15.1.1 any amount due to be paid by you is not paid by the due date for payment;
15.1.2 after consultation with you and your representatives, we are unable to provide the degree of care required by you; or
15.1.3 any other material term of the Agreement is breached by you.
15.2 We may terminate the Agreement with immediate effect in the event that the Carer withdraws from the Assignment in accordance with clause 18.1 below.
15.3 You may terminate this Agreement at any time by giving four weeks written notice to us that you wish to do so or immediately if we commit a major breach of the Agreement.
15.4 In the event of your death, this Agreement will automatically terminate immediately.
16.1 Our liability to you (except in respect of death or personal injury caused to you as a result of our negligence which shall not be limited) shall be limited to the extent of our insurance cover in respect of the claim from time to time. Our current insurance cover is as follows:
16.1.2 Employers Liability Insurance (£10,000,000 in respect of any one claim);
16.1.3 Public Liability Insurance (£10,000,000 in respect of any one claim);
16.1.4 Malpractice/Professional Indemnity Insurance (£2,000,000 in any one year)
and any consequences that arise out of the same act of default by us shall be treated as giving rise to only one claim. Any additional household insurance cover is your responsibility.
16.2 You are not insured by us for transportation in the Carer's car.
We accept no responsibility, howsoever caused, on behalf of ourselves, or our servants, agents or contractors for any losses, costs, damages, claims or expenses in connection with the dishonesty or fraud of one of our employees unless we have been negligent or have breached any duty that we owe to you (either arising under this Agreement or by virtue of any other duty imposed or implied by law).
18.1 We reserve the right to withdraw Carers and/or to cancel this Agreement with immediate effect in circumstances which, in our reasonable opinion, make the continued provision of Services untenable. Such circumstances would include (but would not be limited to):
18.1.1 the failure by you to provide a safe environment and safe and appropriate equipment for the Carer in accordance with clause 20.1 below;
18.1.2 you subjecting any Carer to any physical or verbal assault;
18.1.3 you engaging, in our reasonable opinion, in unacceptable behaviour such as racial abuse; or
18.1.4 where, in our reasonable opinion, there is a danger to the health, safety or well-being of the Carer by continuing to provide the Services.
18.2 We reserve the right to withdraw Carers by giving five days written notice to you in the event that:
18.2.1 you persistently make late payment of our invoices; or
18.2.2 following consultation, you persistently fail to comply with clause 19 (where relevant).
18.3 If we decide to withdraw the Services at any time we will provide you with a written statement of the reasons for the withdrawal within 24 hours. We will give you as much prior notice of the withdrawal of the Services as we consider to be reasonably practical in the circumstances.
19. Sleep In Duties
Where the Services require Carers to undertake "Sleeping Night" type duties you are required to provide suitable facilities and accommodation for rest or sleep for the Carer. We will provide details upon request of the standard of accommodation that will be regarded as acceptable.
20. Intensive Care Packages
20.1 During any period of intensive care, you agree to provide a safe environment and safe and appropriate equipment for the tasks to be undertaken by the Carer. We will supervise the Carer during the period of the Assignment so as to ensure your satisfaction with the standard of work and compliance with Health & Safety issues by the Carer.
20.2 You agree to provide Carers with adequate meal, refreshment and rest breaks during any period of intensive care. Wherever possible Carers should be permitted to take breaks other than in your company. For the avoidance of doubt, such rest breaks are not deductible from the Fees and our Carers will provide their own refreshments.
21. Third Party Rights
A person who is not party to this Agreement does not have any rights under or in connection with this agreement.
22.1 Neither us nor you shall have any liability to the extent that any delay in or failure to perform any of our respective obligations under this Agreement is caused by any factor beyond your or our reasonable control.
22.2 We may transfer or assign all or any of our rights under this Agreement or we may sub-contract any or all of our obligations under it providing we have first obtained your written consent to do so.
22.3 If we fail, at any time while this Agreement is in force, to insist that you perform any of your obligations under this Agreement that will not mean that we have waived our rights under this agreement. If we do waive a default by you, that will not mean that we will automatically waive any subsequent default by you. No waiver by us of any terms of this Agreement shall be effective unless we expressly say it is a waiver and we tell you so in writing.
22.4 If any court or competent authority decides that any of the terms of this Agreement are invalid, unlawful or unenforceable to any extent, the term will, to that extent only, be severed from the remaining terms which will continue to be valid to the fullest extent permitted by law.
22.5 You acknowledge that you have not been induced to enter into this Agreement by any statement or promise not expressly contained within the Agreement (but this clause shall not exclude any liability for any representation made by us to you that was made fraudulently).
22.6 This Agreement shall be governed by English law and we both agree that any disagreement shall be settled in the English courts.