Lee Flowers 0

Changes to Home Care. Will it effect you?

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If you or someone you know is elderly, vulnerable or disabled and receives care from the Local Authority in their own home, or you are a person who may need help in the future, you should read this.

My name is Lee Flowers. I am a 34 year old disabled man living in Mansfield and I am extremely concerned about Nottinghamshire County Council plans to significantly reduce the number of home care providers in the area from around 30 to one per area. I understand they will class Mansfield and Ashfield as one area. Nottinghamshire County Council did this by preventing all those but huge national companies with between four and eight million pounds per year turnover to tender for the new Home Care Contract thus forcing most of the current providers out of the picture. The proviso is that the new Company will be forced to take all the work it is offered. This means the Council can do away with most of the tier of its workers who administer homecare. The Council state they have consulted service users but I can find no evidence that the people who will be most affected by this have been informed or consulted. I certainly wasn’t. Were you? I feel that a lot of people will not realize the implications until it is too late. I myself am capable of making my own decisions. I will be moving to direct payments which will enable me to stay with my current care provider however I am concerned for those people who are frail and ill, have no relatives or suffer from a dementia type illness and will not be in a position to make a choice.

Some things to consider are:

1. Should a service user be unhappy with the new Company there will be no other company to go to
2. Choice has been removed from those unable to manage or apply for a direct payment. They will have no option but to transfer to the new provider.
3. Nottinghamshire County Council state that Service Users will most likely be able to transfer their care worker with them to the new company. There are reports that care workers will prefer to stay with the private service users in their current company so this is not necessarily the case.
4. Nottinghamshire County Council have alienated current providers by putting them out of the picture so there are doubts as to who will pick up the work if the new Company were to fail.
5. Nottinghamshire County Council can cut costs by passing the responsibility for the care of frail , elderly and disabled people in their care by transferring them to a few large national companies
6. The new Companies will have too much power. Continuity, communication and quality of care are likely to be compromised
7. Notts County Council appear to have treated their Service Users like idiots, thinking that they can slip this through without anyone noticing and without proper consultation where it matters
8. Those Service Users who are aware of what is happening and feel confident to undertake their own finances are voting with their feet and the Council are inundated with people trying to get onto direct payments before the new companies are set up
9. People with Dementia rely on a consistent service, any significant changes to staff are bound to cause great distress. A service user’s relative stated in the Nottinghamshire Post that the plans are “Cruel”.
10. We have an aging population. Many members of the public who are not affected now may well be in the future.
I therefore ask you to sign the following petition in support of the Elderly, Vulnerable and disabled people of Nottinghamshire.

Nottinghamshire County Council. Please consider the consequences of cutting the number of homecare providers to one large Company per area.

Councillor Alan Rhodes, Nottinghamshire County Council.

Dear Councillor Rhodes,

I am writing to express my concern that the Nottinghamshire County Council is planning to cut the number of home care providers in the County from approximately 30 providers at present to one per area commencing in April. I ask that you write immediately to all vulnerable, elderly or disabled people (or if appropriate their relatives) who must remain reliant on Nottinghamshire County Council to provide their care. I ask that you set out your proposals clearly. So far as I am aware there has been no direct county wide consultation with service users on a plan which could have severe consequences if things go wrong. With an ageing population it is in the public interest that we are all made aware of the Council’s plans since many people who are not affected now may very well be in the future.

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