How to start a Domiciliary Care Agency in England.

What is a Domiciliary Care Agency?

Domiciliary care refers to different services offered to support individuals in the comfort of their homes. This range of services includes household chores, making meals, running errands, personal care, administering medication, and companionship.

The services provided under domiciliary care can vary greatly depending on the individual’s needs but can include:

Personal Care: This includes help with bathing, dressing, toileting, and other personal hygiene tasks.

Medication Management: Domiciliary care workers can assist with managing and administering medication as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Meal Preparation: Care workers can help with preparing meals and ensuring the individual is eating a balanced diet.

Household Tasks: This can include help with cleaning, laundry, and other household chores.

Companionship: Domiciliary care can also provide valuable social interaction, helping to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Mobility Assistance: Care workers can assist individuals with mobility, helping them move around their homes safely.

Shopping and Errands: Care workers can assist with or carry out shopping and other errands.

Domiciliary care can be provided on a flexible basis, from a few hours a week to round-the-clock care, depending on the individual’s needs. It is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England, ensuring that care providers meet the necessary standards of safety and quality. The cost of domiciliary care can be funded privately, through health insurance, or by local authority funding for those who are eligible.

How to start a domiciliary care agency

Setting up a domiciliary care agency in England involves several steps. Here’s a general guide to help you get started:

1.Company Registration: Register your business with Companies House. If you’re setting up a limited company, you’ll need to provide details about your company, including the company name, registered office address, director(s), and shareholder(s).

Visit this link for more information about Companies House Registration

2. Register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC): Only those delivering regulated activity of personal care must be registered with CQC. If you are only offering services like companionship, shopping, household chores, without personal care, you can do Dom Care without registering with CQC. The registration process involves completing an application form and undergoing an assessment.

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3. Policies and Procedures: Develop comprehensive policies and procedures for your agency. These should cover areas such as health and safety, safeguarding, medication management, and confidentiality.

Visit our website for policies and procedures templates.

4. Staffing: Recruit qualified and experienced staff. All staff members should undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. You’ll also need to provide training to your staff to ensure they can provide high-quality care.

A DBS, or Disclosure and Barring Service check, is a process in the United Kingdom that checks the criminal record of an individual. It’s often used by employers and voluntary organisations to make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.

A countersigned DBS check is when an authorised signatory of a registered body completes the countersignatory section of a DBS application form. The countersignatory must check and confirm the applicant’s identity and ensure the position is eligible for the level of DBS check requested.

Appointing a Registered Manager

In England, it is a legal requirement for every care service provider to have a registered manager in place. This applies to all domiciliary care agencies, residential care homes, and supported living services. The registered manager is responsible for the day-to-day running of the service and ensuring it complies with the relevant regulations and standards.

Here are some of the Registered Manager’s required qualifications.

  • QCF Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care (Management of Adult Services) or
  • Registered Manager’s Award (RMA) or
  • NVQ Level 4 in Leadership and Management for Care Services.

How to create a business plan for a domiciliary care agency:

Remember, your business plan should reflect your vision and goals for your domiciliary care agency. It’s not just a document for potential investors; it’s also a roadmap for your business’s future. Always consult with a business advisor or professional when creating your business plan to ensure it meets all necessary requirements and standards.

Here’s a basic outline to get you started:

Executive Summary: This is a brief overview of your business plan. It should include your business name, location, the services you plan to offer, and your mission statement.

Company Description: Provide detailed information about your domiciliary care agency, including the legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation), the specific services you’ll provide, and the needs your business will meet.

Market Analysis: Research the care industry in your area. Identify your target market, analyse your competition, and explain how your agency will fit into the current market.

Organisation and Management: Describe your business’s organizational structure. Include information about the ownership, management team, and your staff. Detail the qualifications and responsibilities of the registered manager.

Services: Describe in detail the services you’ll provide. Explain how these services will meet the needs of your target market and set you apart from your competitors.

Marketing and Sales Strategy: Outline your strategy for attracting and retaining clients. This could include online advertising, direct mail, networking, or other methods. Also, explain your sales process.

Funding Request: If you’re seeking funding, explain how much you need, what you’ll use it for, and the terms you’d like.

Financial Projections: Provide an overview of your financial projections for the next five years. Include forecasted income, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets.

Appendix: An optional section that includes resumes, permits, leases, or other relevant documents.

Remember, your business plan should reflect your vision and goals for your domiciliary care agency. It’s not just a document for potential investors; it’s also a roadmap for your business’s future. Always consult with a business advisor or professional when creating your business plan to ensure it meets all necessary requirements and standards.

5. Insurance: Obtain the necessary insurance for your business. This typically includes public liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance, and professional indemnity insurance.

6. Marketing: Develop a marketing strategy to attract clients. This could involve creating a website, using social media, and networking with local healthcare providers. Also, explain your sales process.

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Send us an email on  for a deeper understanding on how the marketing strategy works, we can be of great help.

How to create a marketing strategy

Creating a marketing strategy for a domiciliary care agency involves understanding your target audience, defining your unique selling proposition, and choosing the right marketing channels to reach your audience.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Understand Your Target Audience: Your target audience is likely to be elderly individuals, people with disabilities, or families looking for care for their loved ones. Understand their needs, preferences, and how they make decisions about care services.

Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): What makes your agency different from others? It could be your highly trained staff, personalised care plans, or a specific type of service you offer. Your USP should be the core of your marketing message.

Create a Strong Brand: Your brand should reflect your USP and appeal to your target audience. This includes your business name, logo, and overall aesthetic. Your brand should convey trust, care, and professionalism.

Build a Professional Website: Your website is often the first point of contact for potential clients. It should be easy to navigate, provide detailed information about your services, and include contact information. Consider adding testimonials from satisfied clients.

Leverage social media: Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn can be effective for reaching your target audience. Share content that is relevant and valuable to your audience, such as tips for home care, health and wellness advice, and updates about your services.

Use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Optimise your website with keywords related to domiciliary care to improve your visibility on search engines. This can help potential clients find your services when they search online.

Network: Attend industry events, join local business associations, and build relationships with healthcare providers. They can refer clients to your agency.

Use Direct Mail: Send brochures or flyers to potential clients in your area. This can be particularly effective if your target audience is older and prefers traditional forms of communication.

Offer Free Consultations: This gives potential clients the opportunity to meet with you, ask questions, and learn more about your services without any obligation.

Track Your Results: Use tools like Google Analytics to track your online marketing efforts. This can help you understand what’s working and what’s not, so you can adjust your strategy as needed.

Remember, marketing for a domiciliary care agency should be done with sensitivity and respect for the audience’s needs. Always maintain a high level of professionalism in all your communications.

7. Quality Assurance: Implement a quality assurance system to monitor and improve the quality of care you provide. This could involve regular staff training, client feedback surveys, and regular reviews of your policies and procedures.

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In conclusion, starting a domiciliary care business in England is a rewarding venture that requires careful planning, compliance with regulatory standards, and a commitment to providing high-quality care. It involves understanding the needs of the community, developing a comprehensive business plan, obtaining necessary registrations and approvals, recruiting and training competent staff, and implementing effective management systems.

While the process may seem daunting, the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of individuals who need care and support makes it a worthwhile endeavour. With the right approach, a clear vision, and a dedication to continuous improvement, a domiciliary care business can thrive and contribute positively to the health and social care sector in England.

Remember, the success of a domiciliary care business lies not just in its profitability, but in its ability to provide compassionate, person-centered care that enhances the quality of life for its clients. As such, it is crucial to keep the needs and well-being of clients at the heart of all decision-making processes.

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