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SALFORD COUNCIL TO PRIVATISE HOME CARE AS COMMISSION SLATES STANDARDS
 

Star date: 13th February 2013

CRISIS IN HOME CARE FOR OLD AND ILL – AS SALFORD COUNCIL ATTEMPTS TO PRIVATISE ITS SERVICE

"Apart from saving our jobs, this is about the need to help people" Salford home care worker

Salford Council is proposing to privatise what remains of its home care services, just as a Care Quality Commission Report, issued today, finds that a quarter of providers are failing to meet quality and safety standards.

The Council is proposing to `outsource' or privatise its home care service, which looks after ill and elderly people, to cut £639,000 from its Adult Services budget…

Full details here…


"Councils cannot wash their hands of their responsibilities…" UNISON

A Care Quality Commission Report, issued today, has found that up to a quarter of providers are failing to meet quality and safety standards. Surely this was inevitable, as private companies look for profits over care, and councils look to slash care budgets.

Salford Council itself is currently trying to `outsource' or privatise its home care service to cut £639,000 from its Adult Services budget over the next few years, and last Saturday, Iris, a Salford home care worker, warned of the dangers, at the Salford Against the Cuts public meeting in Swinton (see here).

"We go into the community and enable people at the most vulnerable times in their lives to get back on their feet" she explained "We're giving medication and physio, virtually doing nurses jobs but if we're put with a private agency we'll have just ten minutes with people to look after them."

Iris added that Salford Council's own Home Care team has already had to pick up the pieces when four private agencies looking after the ill and vulnerable were closed down. Now the Council want to employ such agencies to care for the city's old and ill people.

"By using the threat of agencies they are bullying us to take redundancy" she explained "It's either take voluntary redundancy or be passed over to the private sector. Apart from saving our jobs, this is about the need to help people."

The Care Quality Commission Report revealed a whole catalogue of concerns about the service old and elderly people are getting…

On Care…

* Missed or late calls and inconsistent weekend services
* Lack of staff knowledge and skill, particularly with regard to dementia
 *Inadequate assessment of needs including reviews and updates
* Lack of detailed care plans including choices and preferences and complex  
  care needs
* Lack of coordination of visits requiring two care workers
* Lack of involvement of family or carers.

On Safeguarding…

* Failures to report safeguarding concerns in line with local policy, out-of-date procedures and staff not understanding safeguarding or whistleblowing procedures

On How Providers Support Their Staff…

* Staff feeling unsupported by their management teams and not always being able to deliver care in the right way because they are too rushed, with no travel time and unscheduled visits added to their day.
* A lack of planned supervision and performance monitoring for staff.
* Training needs not being identified, or if they are identified, they are not met.
* Staff not being confident in using equipment.
* Induction not always being completed, or not following recognised standards and not monitored.

"People have a right to expect to be treated as an individual, to be able to exercise choice, and to make sure their carers are aware of their specific care needs" says David Behan, CQC Chief Executive "We found plenty of evidence of this however we also found elements of poor care which happen too often."

In the wake of the Care Quality Commission Report, public sector trade union, UNISON, has warned of a crisis in homecare…

"The current economic environment makes it impossible to provide the dignified, respectful, high quality care that the elderly and vulnerable need and deserve" says Helga Pile, UNISON national officer for home care.

"However, despite Government cuts, councils cannot wash their hands of their responsibilities" she adds "It is time for councils who commission or provide these services, to take responsibility for the welfare of those who receive them and for the workers who deliver them. They must do far, far better than they are now.

"Unscrupulous private financiers should not be allowed to cream millions out
of an underfunded system, whilst providing seriously substandard care" she explains "In some cases this has had appalling consequences. Home care workers are undervalued and poorly paid. Zero hours contracts are widespread and not paying workers for the time it takes to travel between care appointments, is nothing short of exploitation. "Private companies who pay the minimum wage and giving scant attention to training, has a hugely damaging impact on recruitment and standards."

When the Salford Star's Nigel Pivaro did his own investigation into privatised adult care in Salford he found some disturbing breaches of care…

See Adult Care Horror – Part 1 – click here

See Adult Care Horror – Part 2 -  click here

Read the full Care Quality Commission Report  - click here

UPDATE: 19th June 2013

Salford Council Social Care Boss Storm As Home Care Privatised - click here


 

Outraged wrote
at 13:54:05 on 22 February 2013
Goverment recommendation for Mental Health Services: Government support The government is supporting the concept of recovery – that an individual should be given support to build his or her own life in the way they want to, whether or not the symptoms of the mental illness remain. The government’s mental health strategy for England was published in February 2011 and is called No health without mental health. One of the strategy’s six main objectives is that ‘more people with mental health problems will recover’. The strategy explains this by saying: ‘more people who develop mental health problems will have a good quality of life – greater ability to manage their own lives, stronger social relationships, a greater sense of purpose, they skills they need for living and working, improved chances in education, better employment rates and suitable a stable place to live.’ Unfortunately in the private sector it is not a good business model to support recovery and lose business.. therefore Private Agencies promote dependance... costing more money in the long term. They also do not have the capacity or the 'funding through personalisation' to do any form of crisis intervention. As someone with in house Support worker knowledge I know last year 1 individual support worker saved the NHS and the council at least 3 times their wages in admission to hospital which would cost £3000+ per week to fund. The council and the NHS need to think 'out of the box'
 
Sid james wrote
at 19:08:44 on 14 February 2013
What a carry on. This site gets more absurd by the minute.
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 17:28:26 on 14 February 2013
Labour should hang its head in shame. Privatisation of Care Homes? How can Councillors sleep at night ?
 
Didn't see that one coming, honest wrote
at 14:16:54 on 14 February 2013
Looks like "Lacks the guts to use his name" has their nose well and fimly in the trough. Where do the council find the money? Try not spending £100m on pet projects for the few and start funding services for the many, if you look on the archive pages on this site you will see many excellant suggestions of money saving, these are suggestions that will not effect the people of this city who NEED the services that are being cut. You say "Just ludicrously out of touch with the realities", yes you are get out of your ivory tower and onto the streets, talk to real people about what they want the little money we have spending on. And why would the Star need to contact the council? This information on cuts is public knowledge, look at the many articles on here they often include links to documents produced by the council.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 11:42:13 on 14 February 2013
See Lacks the guts to use his name's comments below... The title obviously refers to yourself. Inaccurate? Do you know something we and the care workers and the unions don't??? So the Council isn't planning to cut £639k from the service? And isn't planning to privatise it? Do tell!!! Substantiate your comments or do one. Re the Council commenting - perhaps if it would like to answer all our previous questions (lost count) and Freedom of Info and Right to See Accounts enquiries, we'll contact them. Although don't think anyone wants to wait for six months for such answers - after everyone's been sacked... Last time we asked a civilised question we got told we were `negative' - such is the impartiality of the Council press office... Never used to be like this when they had professionals, instead of overpaid spin doctors working there...
 
Lacks the guts to use his name wrote
at 11:26:13 on 14 February 2013
First of all, on the central issue, where do you suggest exactly the council should get the money to provide services in-house?. From a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Just ludicrously out of touch with the realities. Secondly, another example of the Stars balanced reporting? No attempt to contact the council. Biased, partial, inaccurate. So no change there then.
 
Didn't see that one coming, honest wrote
at 06:39:18 on 14 February 2013
This story comes as no suprise and i'll tell you something else you allready know there is more to come in the next two weeks. Fact is Salford council would love to privatise every service they provide, then they can sit in the townhall barking orders, taking the glory when things are good, and saying "not our fault, we don't run that service blame the contractor" when things go bad. When things go really bad it's also very handy to have a contractor available to carry the can, so the future responce by the council over major fuck-ups will be to sack the contractor and get a new firm in, oh life for our elected leaders will be bliss and much simpler, no more having to face blame when they screw up, no more accountability, they can just tell the voters that complain to phone the contractors hotline. And just to top it off, like other organisations which have such large contracts to supervise the people at the top will have their heads firmly in the trough.
 
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