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Ok, so last week we asked who, in a traditional home care office, is the support assistant’s boss.

We struggled to identify someone who, realistically, could be that person.

There is an alternative.

And that is to devolve management down to small, local teams of support assistants, managed by a Team Leader.

The Team Leader would manage the team, helping to recruit, to train, to supervise the staff, and to assess and review the clients.

And that person, supported by a deputy, would be on call for that small team of staff and clients.

In a traditional set-up, on-call is centralised, so that the person on-call is managing up to 150 support assistants and 400 clients.

That phone is red hot at evenings and week-ends, leading to poor service for clients and nervous breakdowns for staff.

Of course, that Team Leader has to be exceptional. He or she is wearing many hats.

But those hats are worn for a small, local, easily identifiable team.

I am told that this set-up is similar to how local authority home help services were structured in the 1980s, before the private sector became involved.

And so the wheel turns...

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