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  • 1st Focus Homecare

Paying for Homecare - The Costs of Home Help Care in Edinburgh

Does 1st Focus Homecare Charge a Set Up Fee for Your Care At Home Package?

paying for homecare

1st Focus Homecare does not charge a setup fee or have any fees other than the one you are quoted.  Several companies are providing private care services that are charging service users and seniors a “set up” fee of up to £350 just to organise their care package before they even start providing the service.

At 1st Focus Homecare, we are aware that the costs involved in care can quickly mount up and feel that a “set up” fee is a charge that we don’t feel comfortable with. If you are meeting with care service providers then you must make sure you ask if there are any additional costs above the hourly care rate.

Care in the Edinburgh area varies from £25 to £40 per hour and this number is based on the amount of care you need and the quality of service being delivered.

Like anything in life, you get what you pay for and care is not something that should be done on the cheap. You want the best care that money can buy.

Other Charges that you may have missed?

Another area where we see additional charges being implemented is a “call-out fee”. In these cases, you may be quoted an hourly rate of say £28 per hour, but there can be an additional call-out charge of £5 per visit. If you are receiving multiple visits per day, this can quickly add up to a substantial amount. Again, at 1st Focus Homecare, there is only the set hourly fee, nothing more.

When you are negotiating the costs of your care we advise you to make sure that any agreement is for a flat hourly rate or you have enquired about ALL additional charges. The last thing you want to do is engage with a private care provider and then find out that the cost is more than what you planned for.

The hourly rate you are quoted for at 1st Focus Homecare covers all your care costs. There are no hidden or additional costs.

paying for homecare

We have been asked in the past why we don’t charge as much as some of our competitors. The simple answer is that some of the larger chains of care companies are franchises. A franchise is where someone buys the right to use a brand as their own business. It means they have a lot of additional costs which then get passed onto the service user. If 1st Focus were a franchise you would expect to see prices that are approximately 15% higher. So in terms of getting what you pay for, with franchises some of the money you are paying is going straight to the parent company. 

This is why at 1st Focus Homecare, we can keep our prices fair and below those charged by the bigger franchise and corporate care companies. Transparency and honesty have been the founding blocks of 1st Focus Homecare and we believe what we charge is an honest price for a high-quality service.

4 Tips to Finding a Reputable Home Care Company in Edinburgh.

Tip 1 - Is the Company Registered With the Care Inspectorate in Scotland?

The Care Inspectorate is the government agency in Scotland that is responsible for making sure that care agencies and providers work to certain standards.

If you are looking for a care service in Edinburgh, you can use the Care Inspectorate’s Database to help you find a suitable provider.

Of course, 1st Focus Homecare is registered with the Care Inspectorate and you can view all of the service reports on their website.

Tip 2 - Has the Company Gained Awards for Care In the Community?

Finding a good care company can be difficult, but using the Care Inspectorate should always be your starting point.

However, there are also external review services that rate care agencies based on feedback from service users, and one of these is the trusted review service.

They judge care companies on a number of criteria including:

  • Overall review scores received by service users

  • Care Inspectorate grades

  • Current up-to-date service user reviews 

It does not matter which care company you choose. It is important to read the thorough reviews at of any service provider you are thinking of using.

Tip 3 - Is the Company a Truly Local Care Agency or Part of a Larger Chain?

Edinburgh and Scotland in general is a very tight-knit community and although some of the larger care companies are based locally, they may not be “local” companies.

A local care company will be smaller in size which has both its pros and cons.


  • Run by a local manager who knows and understands the local community

  • Emphasize the individual care needs of a person without having to worry about the “corporate big brother” looking over their shoulder

  • Have specialist and dedicated carers rather than generalists


  • Not as many employees as in bigger care chains

Tip 4 - Does the Care Company Provide a Wide Range of Care Services?

Every senior who requires care will have individual needs. These can range from simple support like coming into your home and preparing simple meals. Maybe doing some light household cleaning and shopping, or even just providing companionship.

Then there is a senior who may need much more help like getting in and out of bed, support in taking daily medication or oxygen for breathing, and of course bathing and toileting needs.

paying for homecare

When searching for a care provider, these are the types of services they should be able to provide to you. 

Companionship Care - helping users to get out into the community to visit the local park, or maybe a visit to a local community centre to catch up and chat with friends. Some care companies will help you to and from these trips.

Personal Care & Hygiene - Personal care includes such help as showering, dressing, shaving, hair care, teeth and denture cleaning, and also application of creams and lotions for people suffering from skincare issues.

Domestic Home Help - Services could include washing and ironing clothes, vacuuming, dusting, polishing furniture, and cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. This might also include watering in house plants, feeding pets, as well as healthy meal preparation.

Medication Assistance - Many seniors need to take various medications and as they get older, remembering the different pills and times they should be taken can be both confusing and overwhelming, even if they use something like a pill box.

Our care staff are experienced in administering and tracking the medication taken by seniors and can provide this as part of the care package.

We have produced a helpful guide for families to help them understand the importance of the correct administration of medications.

Meal Preparation - Another one of our guides focuses on healthy eating and using simple and quick recipes for seniors and their carers. The guide to healthy eating contains 20 nutritious recipes that are easy to prepare and easy to eat.

The guide helps our clients participate as much as possible in preparing and enjoying home-cooked meals.


In this post, you have learnt that you need to be vigilant when engaging a care company in Edinburgh to deliver your care needs.

We want to show transparency here so that you do not have to pay more for your care than you should.

Once again, set-up fees and administration/call-out fees can sometimes go unnoticed. Therefore, if you or your family need advice about quality care services in Edinburgh and need answers to your questions. We are just a quick phone call away at 0131-510-7878.

paying for homecare

Paying for homecare - FAQ’s

Q1: Does 1st Focus Homecare have any additional fees?

A1: At 1st Focus Homecare the hourly charge quoted is what you are charged, no more, no less. The only caveat to this is for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the 1st and 2nd of January where we charge double the rate. This ensures we can pay staff double time for working these days.

Q2: Do care companies charge more per hour on weekends and holidays?

A2: Some companies will charge more for weekends etc, make sure these questions are asked at the very beginning of any correspondence you have with a private care-at-home company.

Q3: What is a “set up” fee?

A3: Some companies charge for the actual setting up of the care package. This is an administrative cost and for some can be as much as £350. 

Q4: What is a “call out” charge

A4: Some companies have an additional charge per visit they make to the house, so if you receive 4 individual visits per day then you would also incur 4 separate “call out” fees.



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