PA Pool is an alternative to care agencies, a quicker and more cost effective way than using an agency to find a carer – or for personal care assistants looking for new clients…
Finding a Personal Care Assistant (PA or Carer) is not simple. It’s not like employing someone to work in an office – this person will come into your own home and work with you on a very personal level.
You can book a carer or find clients through an agency, or you can use PA Pool, an online community database of PAs and PA Users.
While you are looking for the right person to care for you, or a family member, you may still be trying to work full time and juggle other commitments, so it needs to be an easy process.
That’s where PA Pool comes along; the site was founded by Katy Etherington, back in 2007. Katy, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, was struggling to conduct a search for a new carer while working full time as a graphic designer and realised that there had to be a better way. Now, thanks to her vision and commitment, there is!
How does PA Pool differ from an agency?
Unlike an agency, our online community database of PAs and PA Users offers you the independence to make your own decisions on the carers you use – and the clients you work for.
If you book through an agency, the staff there will use their experience to match you up with a PA or client. While this can be a good thing, as they will match your requirements, it doesn’t give you the opportunity to see who else is out there.
You are also tied to conducting enquiries within agency hours – which are likely to be office hours – which can be tricky if you are working full time yourself, whereas PA Pool allows you to conduct your search 24 hours a day.
Also, agency costs are likely to be higher, as they add on their own fees to the PA’s hourly rate. And for PAs it can be frustrating to know you are being paid considerably less than the agency is charging the client. With PA Pool, PAs can rest assured in the knowledge that what they are being paid, and what the client is paying, are one and the same! Plus without the need to pay agency fees, PA Users are able to get the most value out of their care funding.
How does PA Pool work?
So how does PA Pool work? There’s a database of PAs and PA Users, all of which can be accessed at the click of a button. And because the database is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you can conduct your search at a time to suit you.
Registration is simple via a dedicated link – one for PAs and one for PA Users and after confirming a verification email it is easy to set up and complete your profile online. We also offer numerous tips on how to make the most of your membership.
Members – whether they are a PA or are looking for a PA – have their own homepage, with a profile letting other members know something about them. You activate your status to let other members know – you can then create a shortlist of ‘favourites’ so that you can easily find them when you’re looking. You can use a quick or detailed search to find just the right PA or PA User for you.
Costs are kept to a minimum; PA Pool is a non-profit – any money we make is put back into the website to make it work quicker and better. In fact, in September of this year we will be introducing a number of new features and will be announcing the details over the summer.
Choice and Flexibility
For a PA User, this puts the control back in your hands! The PA or Carer that you find, will be your employee and you’ll make all the decisions, rather than in an agency scenario. PA Pool also gives you control if you’re a PA as you can choose to work on a PAYE basis for a client or be Self Employed.
The PA Pool community now numbers more than 16,000 members, offering plenty of choice – and plenty of feedback, as it is possible to receive recommendations from people you’ve employed or worked with – adding in another level of trust to the process.
As well as offering greater convenience and a no-pressure way to find the right person, it also allows for PA Users to find someone quickly in an emergency situation or as a PA, a job if you need one quickly.
PA Pool is all about helping people and building the community. 99% of PA Pool members have severe mobility issues, and advertising on PA Pool offers our members the chance to remain as independent as possible through every aspect of their lives.
What does it cost?
PA Pool is free to those looking for work although we will be introducing an additional enhanced Premium PA membership in September 2019.
The site runs on a subscription basis for PA Users, but with terms lasting from just three days up to a year, you can choose the right one for you, so you should never feel locked in for longer than you want.
So if you think that finding the right PA, or the right PA position is going to be hard work, why not sign up and let www.papool.co.uk do the hard work for you?!