Please read these Terms and Conditions (“Terms”) carefully as they contain important information about your legal rights, remedies and obligations. By accessing or using the hometouch Platform, you agree to comply with and be bound by these Terms.
Last Updated: 01/07/2019.
Thank you for using hometouch!
Definitions of terms:
When the following words with capital letters are used in these Terms, the definitions below will apply:
Account Manager: A Care Manager who is Your main point of contact for account related matters.
Audit: A process of data analysis, review and Continuous Quality Improvement that informs our policies, procedures and processes.
Bank Holiday: means a bank holiday in England and Wales, details of which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/bank-holidays.
Cancellation Policy: The rules and procedures concerning cancelled Care Sessions, paused and terminated contracts.
Care Advisors: Trained office based advisors who are Your first point of contact regarding provision of home care, accessible typically by phone and email.
Care Journal: A ledger of historical data collected via the Professional Carer’s Care Hub detailing the Care delivered by Professional Carers during Care Sessions.
Care Plan: A live and dynamic clinical document detailing the Personal Care needs and activities of the Care Recipient and tasks performed by Professional Carers. Under the Managed Model of Care the Care Plan is produced and updated collaboratively by the Professional Carer, family, Care Recipient and Nurse Manager. In the Introductory Model of Care, the Care Plan is produced and updated by Professional Carer, family and Care Recipient.
Care Rate: The amount to be paid on an hourly or daily basis for the delivery of a Care Session.
Care Provider: For the Managed Care Model of Care, the provider of care is hometouch, regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
Care Quality Commission (CQC): The Independent Regulator of Health and Social Care in England.
Care Recipient/s: The term We use to define the patient, service user, end user or individual receiving Care provided by Professional Carers.
Care Session: Any period of time where a Professional Carer is delivering care on behalf of a care recipient
Carer Onboarding: The process in which Professional Carers move through before becoming available to deliver Personal Care through the hometouch platform. This includes right to work, criminal and employment background checks.
Carer Profile: The online profile of each Professional Carer that exist in the Carer Library, detailing a short biography, clinical experience, interests, Disclosure and Barring Service Check and Client reviews.
Client: The person who manages the Care Recipient’s account. The Client may or may not be the same person as the Care Recipient.
Care Hub: The online portal that includes services such as Carer Library, messaging, Care Plan, contracts, Care Journal, and Payments.
Client Onboarding: The process through which We assess Your care needs and how they might be served by hometouch. This typically involves a phone discussion with a Care Advisor followed by matching of care needs to Carer Profiles in the Carer Library. Under the Managed Model, Client Onboarding will involve an Initial Home Visit from a member of the hometouch clinical team to facilitate the creation a Care Plan.
Clinical Governance: The Policies and Procedures through which Our Registered Manager and other clinical professionals oversee and improve the provision of care.
Complaints Procedure: The manner in which You can make a complaint to Us and how we will process, investigate and respond.
Continuous Quality Improvement: The processes and activities that we engage to improve the quality and effectiveness of our service. For example, risk meetings, audit and feedback
Consent: The care recipient’s capacitous agreement to receive personal care (or other assistance) communicated via written, verbal or other readily understood method of communication.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: The legal framework that protects vulnerable individuals, who are typically non-capacitous, when they are confined to a single location such as a care home or Hospital.
Direct Payments: The funding mechanism provided by Local Authorities which permits Care Recipients an allocated budget for Personal Care
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check: A background criminal records check of the Adult and Children’s Barred lists that is a statutory vetting requirement.
Employment Business: Defined under the Employment Agencies Act 1973 as the business of supplying people in the employment of the person carrying on the business, to act for, and under the control of, other people in any capacity.
Daniel Loljee: Our Registered Manager
Fees: The Monies due to Us in return for the Services provided to a Client, that support the delivery of care through the hometouch platform.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): An up to date list of questions and answers that address common concerns and queries
Health and Safety Assessment: The assessment carried out in each home to ensure it is a safe working environment, safe for the Care Recipient and compliant with Health and Safety Legislation
HomeTouch Care Ltd: Our corporate entity which is responsible for two models of care with our registered Office at Unit M1, 40 Bowling Green Lane, London EC1R 0NE.
Initial Home Visit: The welcome home visit carried out by our Nurse Manager to assess the Care Recipient care needs
Introductory Care Model: Our non-regulated business model. Under the Introductory Model of Care, Professional Carers provide Personal Care directly to Care Recipients without further involvement of hometouch in relation to care management. The provision of Care Plans, rotas and oversight are a collaboration between the Professional Carer, the Care Recipient and the family.
Key Lines of Enquiry (KLoE): The Framework used by the Care Quality Commission to inspect and regulate home care providers
Live-in Care: The type of care where a Professional Carer resides on a temporary basis in the care recipient’s home for a 24 hour period.
Managed Care Model: The model of care whereby we act as the provider and hometouch employees work alongside the Professional Carer through the provision of regularly reviewed Care Plans and Risk Assessment, clinical support and Account Management.
Mandatory Training: The statutory and minimum requirements for training that Professional Carers delivering the Managed Care Model must satisfy. Mandatory Training is reviewed annually.
Medication Administration Record: The document on which Professional Carers record any medication provided to You as part of the Managed Care Model.
Mental Capacity: For the purposes of the Mental Capacity Act (2005), a person lacks capacity in relation to a matter if at the material time he is unable to make a decision for himself in relation to the matter because of an impairment of, or disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain.
NHS Continuing Healthcare: The funding mechanism provided by Clinical Commissioning Groups which permits Care Recipients an allocated budget for NHS Continuing Healthcare
Nominated Individual: Nominated individual means the person who is employed as a director, manager or secretary of a body and whose name has been notified to CQC as being the person who is responsible for supervising the management of the regulated activity by the CQC. Our Nominated Individual is Dr James Matthew Wilson.
Nurse Manager: The qualified Nurse who oversees Initial Home Visits, reviews Managed Care Plans and supports the Professional Carer to deliver Managed Care.
Personal Care: Provision of intimate and sensitive assistance in the Activities of Daily Living, ranging from but not confined to companionship to personal hygiene, washing and dressing and nutrition.
Personal Health Budgets: The funding mechanism provided by Clinical Commissioning Groups which permits Care Recipients an allocated budget for Personal Care and other support for a long term condition.
Power of Attorney: The legal role fulfilled by the nominee of the Care Recipient in relation to finances and health and welfare.
Professional Carers: The term we use to describe the self-employed carers providing Personal Care through the hometouch Platform.
Public Liability Insurance: Insurance that covers the cost of claims made by members of the public for incidents that occur in connection with business activities. Public liability insurance covers the cost of compensation for personal injuries and loss of or damage to property.
Registered Manager: The legal role fulfilled by Daniel Loljee for the purposes of Our Registration with the Care Quality Commission
Regulated Activity: A service or provision of care that is subject to regulation by the Care Quality Commission
Risk Assessment: The process of identifying all the risks to and from an activity, and assessing the potential impact of each risk. The hometouch clinical team will create risk assessments as part of the Client Onboarding process for Managed care that outlines and monitors the clinical and other risks to the Care Recipient. The document is subject to regular to 3 monthly review. For the introductory model, risk assessments are the responsibility of the Professional Carer.
Safeguarding: Ensuring that people live free from harm, abuse and neglect and, in doing so, protecting their health, wellbeing and human rights. Children, and adults in vulnerable situations, need to be safeguarded. Further details can be accessed in Our Safeguarding Policy
Self-employed: Our Professional Carers are Self-Employed for tax purposes in accordance with advice and guidance We have received from employment experts, HMRC, the CQC and other regulatory bodies. All VAT is accounted for by hometouch accounting processes for both Introductory and Managed Models of Care.
Sensitive Personal Data: personal information about You and in particular Your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature, membership of a trade union, medical or physical health or condition, sexuality or the commission or alleged commission of any offence, that is protected by the Data Protection Act 1998.
Service/s: The activities provided to a Care Recipient by Us and Professional Carers during the course of the contracted period, which include but are not limited to provision of Personal Care, Care Advice, Scheduling, Billing, Messaging, Care Journal, Care Plan, and Risk Assessment.
Schedule: The timings of Care Sessions agreed at the outset of the contract and modified in discussion with a Professional Carer. hometouch Care Managers will assist with scheduling for the Managed Care Model.
Statutory Breaks: Live-in carers are entitled to a 2 hour break in each 24 hours period. See Breaks further down these Terms and Conditions
Statutory Notification: The statutory requirements for Us to notify the regulator in the event of specific events or incidents. Us, We and Our: Meaning HomeTouch Care Ltd
You: A professional live-in carer.
1. General Terms for hometouch carers
Hometouch offers 2 models of care:
1.1 The Introductory Model of Care
hometouch’s Introductory Model of Care is classified as an ‘introductory agency’ in line with CQC guidance. hometouch provides an online marketplace and telephone advice from a Care Advisor to facilitate the process of finding a Professional Carer to support the delivery of home care. hometouch does not directly supply carers to care seekers, nor does it employ carers or act as a care agency when facilitating introductory care. In line with CQC regulations, Under the Introductory Model, hometouch is not permitted to make changes to the care plan, provide rotas or effect control over the delivery of care. Working on an Introductory Model, the Professional Carer owns the care.
1.2 The Regulated Model of Care
Under the Regulated Model of Care, hometouch is responsible for the care delivery. The hometouch clinical team will work with the Professional Carer to create and deliver the Care Plan. Professional Carers working on Regulated Contracts are still self employed.
1.3 Limitations of service
All the tools provided by hometouch are used at the carers’ own risk and there is no guarantee that these tools will work optimally, not be subject to downtime, or removed from service at any point in time. hometouch does not accept any liability for losses or damages caused by the temporary unavailability of the service or technical errors. hometouch disclaims any liability for controversies, losses, injury, accidents, claims or damages arising out of the use of the online tools it provides, the engagement of carers or the provision of care services by carers. hometouch disclaims any liability for controversies, losses, injury, accidents, claims or damages arising out of the use of the online tools it provides, the engagement of carers or the provision of care services by carers.
2. Rules for User conduct and use of service
2.1 Use of service
By registering and using this website as a carer you confirm that you accept and will abide by all these Terms and Conditions. You are 18 years old or over and have the right to form legally binding contracts under UK law. Information you provide on the site is correct and accurate including details on your qualifications, skills and experience. You are eligible to legally work in the UK. Providing you meet the relevant HMRC criteria for the arrangement with the client being a self-employed arrangement, you will be working on a self-employed basis and will fulfil all responsibilities and duties of a self-employed worker including paying all tax and National Insurance due to HMRC. You will not receive Holiday pay from hometouch when working on a self employed basis. You will provide your Unique Taxpayer Reference Number during registration
2.2 Account creation
To use this service, carers must create an account with hometouch via the smartphone application or via our online form. Each account must be a personal account and only one account is allowed per person. Carers must provide accurate and up to date information. You confirm you will keep passwords safe and secure and not allow anyone else to access your account. hometouch reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of the site at any time and with immediate effect.
2.3 Profile content
Carers are directly responsible for content that they upload to the hometouch platform and must not give the impression that any content is provided by hometouch or any other individual. Content must not be defamatory, offensive or inaccurate, false or misleading. HomeTouch hometouch reserves the right to remove any content that does not meet these standards at our discretion. By using this service you agree to only use hometouch for its intended and lawful purposes. hometouch reserves the right to amend and edit the content for accuracy, correct grammar and general presentation in accordance with creating a positive user experience for care seekers. In order to fully support the operability of the Carer Library, You agree that elements of your Carer Profile may feature in open searches through internet Search Engines and be viewable to persons not logged onto the hometouch Platform.
2.4 Compliance with Contract
Once a self-employed carer has “accepted” a contract, they are bound to deliver the terms of that contract. The self-employed carer must Foremost negotiate with the Client or Care Recipient regarding any deviation from the contract, e.g. for time off or changes of contracted hours for leave, illness or personal circumstances. hometouch will attempt to arbitrate where there is a disagreement between a Client and a Professional Carer. Either Client or Professional Carer can dispute a contract. hometouch will examine the contract, compliance with terms, user analytics data including but not limited to visit logging, messaging, geoverification, user feedback and previous self-employed carer behaviour and any submissions by either party. hometouch reserves the right at its sole discretion to defer payment, reimburse or cease contractual payments at any time.
2.5 Quality of Care delivery
In your capacity as a carer you agree to provide a professional, punctual, safe, compassionate, well communicated and diligent service for the customer and/ or care recipient at all times. You must not accept a contract that involves duties beyond your level of competence. If You continually express interest in contracts you are unable to undertake this may affect the frequency that we consider you for roles. You agree to act honestly and with absolute integrity at all times. If hometouch finds that You have operated in a manner that falls below Our standards, we reserve the right to right to remove you from Our Platform
You Must not sub-contract or offer work to any colleague or any associate unless you have agreed this with the client. Any change to contract terms must be expressly communicated to the client in writing. As a self-employed person, you have a right to find a substitute for your absences. hometouch encourages you to contact and liaise with other carers registered through hometouch who has passed our vetting process.
2.6 Compliance with Statutory Regulations
Carers must ensure they are in compliance with the Care Standards Act 2006, the Care Act 2015, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 and all other legislation and Governmental Authority guidance applicable to the care of vulnerable adults in force in the UK. In addition, you represent and warrant that you and each member of your household (i) have never been the subject of a complaint, restraining order or any other legal action involving being arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any criminal offence involving violence, abuse, neglect, theft or fraud, or any offence that involves endangering the safety of others, dishonesty, negligence or drugs, and you are not nor have you ever been on the sex offenders register or other similar list. Professional Carers are expected to keep themselves in date with Statutory and Mandatory training throughout the time they are registered on the hometouch platform.
2.7 Live-in Care Requirements
Live-in, Professional Carers have various legal rights which include (without limitation) the following: provision of a separate bedroom for them with suitable bathing and toilet facilities which are clean and in a good state of repair. Carers require the provision of ample food and clean bedding as well as adequate cleaning materials and protective clothing to carry out the Service properly.
2.7.1 Live in Break Provision
Live-in Professional Carers require a minimum 2 hours break per day. This time off must be within daylight hours. If agreed between the Client and the Professional Carer some of these hours may be banked to provide longer periods of time off on fewer days. The minimum provision must be 14 hours over a 7 day week. If there are issues over taking breaks You must engage with the Client at the earliest opportunity. If there is still no resolution You should escalate to hometouch and We will help seek a resolution.
Professional Carers must not seek to charge for missed breaks, If hometouch learn of Professional Carers trying to charge for missed breaks We may remove you from the contract and the hometouch platform altogether.
2.7.2 ExpensesProfessional Carers must consider expenses when understanding the wage for a contract. Hometouch does not support Professional Carers adding expenses to the pay received for a contract.
3. Release of liability for user conduct and disputesAny agreements are legally binding agreements between the Client and the Professional Carer. hometouch are not party to an agreement.
hometouch will attempt to arbitrate where there is a disagreement between a Client and a Professional Carer. Either Client or Professional Carer can dispute a contract. hometouch will examine the contract, compliance with terms, user analytics data including but not limited to visit logging, messaging, geoverification, user feedback and previous self-employed carer behaviour and any submissions by either party. hometouch reserves the right at its sole discretion to defer payment, reimburse or cease contractual payments at any time.
4. Payments, Cancellations and Refunds
By using any hometouch service you agree to use the service for all current and future work that takes place as a result of an introduction made through hometouch, the Platform and the Carer Library. You must not create contractual agreements outside this service with Clients introduced to you through hometouch, with the deliberate intention of avoiding hometouch fees. Any severe offences will result in but are not limited to the immediate termination of a Professional Carers profile. Any offers to transact outside of hometouch must be reported to hometouch immediately. You are responsible for making sure we have your current and up to date bank details on file for Client payments to be released to you.
hometouch will pay You for Care Sessions that have been undertaken provided they feature correctly in your Care Hub. You must notify hometouch at the earliest opportunity if you Care Sessions are incorrect. hometouch is unable to pay Professional Carers for care sessions that do not feature in Your Care Schedule.
4.2 Rates and fees
It is your responsibility to set your rate for the care services you wish to provide. Rates should not be changed during a contract agreement. Any changes in rates that are made before the end of a contract must result in the termination of the current contract and a new contract must be agreed with the client. When setting your rate and negotiating directly with the client, you should account for hometouch fees which are deducted from your rate. Prior to agreeing to any contract You must also consider Your own expenses and not accept a contract that you cannot afford to take up.
4.3 Income Tax and National Insurance
By using this service as a self-employed carer you agree that you have made and will make all required legal and tax filings to HMRC. This includes making national insurance contributions and paying income tax. hometouch does not provide pay slips or any other documentation to support tax filings aside from your records of earnings you can can view within your care hub.
4.4 Cancellations and absences
hometouch strongly discourages absences from any client appointments that have previously been accepted and when a contract is active. Where an emergency arises and absence is unavoidable, you must inform the Client immediately with as much notice as possible. When cancelling any agreed Care Sessions with a client, we ask you to notify hometouch of your cancellation at the same time so that, if necessary we can assist in finding a replacement. If you fail to inform your client of any absences or changes in contracted Care Sessions and this results in a complaint from the client, we reserve the right to withhold pay for the Care Session where the unexcused absence occurred.
Cancellations and unexcused absences may also affect your rating on the platform and the ability of hometouch to recommend you for care contracts. In cases of planned holiday or leave, you must inform the Client of your wish to arrange cover with at least 2 weeks advance notice. hometouch encourages you communicate with other self-employed carers registered on the platform. You must also inform hometouch of the cover requirement with the same minimum 2 weeks notice. Any cover with a hometouch carer must be agreed with the client beforehand and a separate contract must be set up for this period.
4.5 Ending a contract prematurely
If you have agreed a contract with a Client, you must honour the terms of this contract and ensure that all efforts are made to fulfil the contract through to its conclusion. hometouch recognises that in some circumstances, you may decide to end the contract due to other commitments outside of the platform. hometouch will not permit you take a new contract on the platform that conflicts with the schedule of an existing hometouch contract unless sufficient notice has been served. This is to protect the existing client and to ensure continuity of care. Should you attempt to seek other work while in a hometouch contract, this will be noted against your hometouch profile and may result in your removal from the platform. If you decide to end a contract with a client, you must provide at least 14 days notice to the client and hometouch so that a suitable replacement can be found. If you fail to provide sufficient notice and exit the contract without sufficient notice, hometouch reserves the right to withhold payment for the preceding period and remove you from the platform.
5. Limitation of liability
5.1 Responsibility for contract acceptance
You acknowledge that the decision to enter into a contract with a client is your sole responsibility and that hometouch makes no warranty as to the suitability of any work assignment you accept via hometouch, nor does hometouch provide any warranty as to the character or honesty of any customer or the truthfulness or accuracy of information provided by a customer. However, hometouch endeavours to screen and risk assess every client that uses the platform to ensure a safe and positive community for all participants.
5.2 Risks of introduction service
When accepting a contract under the Introductory Model of Care, You agree that you understand the risks involved in participating in an introductory agency service and you hereby waive any rights to claims for damages from hometouch in relation to the service.
5.3 Breach of terms and conditions
You agree to indemnify and not hold hometouch responsible or make any claim or demand against hometouch as a result of you breaching these terms and conditions.
6. Contractual Obligations
6.1 No circumvention of fees
By using hometouch you agree to use the service for all current and future work that takes place as a result of an introduction made through hometouch. If you have been introduced to a potential client through hometouch, you must not create contractual agreements outside of this service, with the deliberate intention of circumventing hometouch fees.
6.2 Checking In and Completing the Care Journal
You shall check in using your Care Hub for each Care Session and complete an entry in the online Care Journal recording each Care Session within 24 hours of that Care Session finishing. If you are unable to complete a Care Journal entry, you must let hometouch know within 24 hours of the end of the Care Session.
7. Termination of profile
You shall immediately notify hometouch should your circumstances change and you are no longer able to accept client work via the hometouch platform. You are expected to carry out a high quality service at all times. hometouch reserves the right to terminate your profile if it comes to our attention that your service is not up to standard, as determined by hometouch, or these Terms and Conditions have been breached. This decision is at the sole discretion of hometouch and no justification needs to be provided for the termination of a profile. Any severe offences will result in but are not limited to the immediate termination of a carer’s profile.
8. Quality assurance and background checks
By using this site or service you authorise hometouch to carry out certain background checks and audits at a time of their choosing. hometouch reserves the right but not the obligation to use a third party to scan your personal information on an ongoing basis against a variety of sources which may include, but are not limited to, sex offender registries, social media, criminal registries and other legally available databases and resources. hometouch has no obligation to perform checks and releases all liability associated which results from checks. However, hometouch endeavours to review or carry out enhanced DBS checks on all carers registered on the hometouch platform including interrogation of the DBS update service. hometouch reserves the right to exclude a carer from the hometouch Platform and Carer Library on the basis of findings in the DBS check. You also warrant that you have not been subject a restraining order or any other civil action.
9. Feedback, marketing and customer reviews
We ask Clients to leave qualitative and quantitative feedback on the experience they had with You. The feedback will contribute towards the review section on your hometouch profile and can also affect your ranking in the hometouch matching process. Customer feedback should be honest and you must not offer incentives in exchange for better feedback or try to influence a Client to deviate from their true and honest view. We reserve the right to remove any defamatory, abusive or offensive feedback at our discretion but are not obliged to do so. You agree to providing an exclusive and perpetual right for hometouch to publish customer reviews on your profile, and you must not attempt to delete customer reviews or create a new profile to delete poor feedback. Your profile data including biography and photograph (without identifying details) may be used from time to time in print and online marketing initiatives with the intention of generating more demand for your services. You also give a hometouch a perpetual and non exclusive right to share your information with third parties. If you wish to opt out of this activity, please contact email@example.com.
10. Privacy Statement
You agree to keep strictly confidential any information you receive in any medium or format about potential, existing and past clients from either hometouch or the clients themselves. This includes but is not limited to personal information and medical information.
12. Governing Law
These Terms and Conditions and any dispute arising out of the site and/or the services shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales. The courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim that arises out of or in connection with these terms and conditions or in connection with this site and/ or service.