Home care -Coun Mair just electioneering

Re Home care ‘scandal’ will put lives at risk.

There is no scandal and lives will not be put at risk. This is just totally misleading and a blatant attempt by Councillor Colin Mair to up his profile for his party as the election looms.

Councillor Mair’s allegations are completely false and will needlessly alarm residents in the county. Let me put the record straight again: Care workers are not going straight from the dole queue to visiting people in their homes with no

training and without being vetted.

Home care agencies have responsibilities to ensure that workers are adequately trained and checks around people’s appropriateness for this sort of work are in place.

The Care Quality Commission (CSC) ensure that these checks are undertaken as a part of Homecare providers registration requirements.

There are approximately 78 Homecare providers in Lincolnshire that LCC purchase from. As a part of a reprocurement exercise, which Cllr Mair has been briefed on, we are looking to change this.

Care workers aren’t paid less than the minimum wage - homecare providers have legal requirements which they work within, one of these being that they pay the minimum wage.

The implications of paying the living wage for the 1.8m hours that are bought every year would cost in the region of £2.4m per year to implement and would have knock on effects to other employment markets.

To bring the service back in house would mean that 78 homecare businesses would no longer have work from the council with an additional cost to the council over £23m per year.

The system is not putting vulnerable people at risk. Homecare providers, CQC and the council work responsibly to ensure that those people requiring this type of support receive it in a way that supports their personal care needs.

Funding in this area increases year on year and the council is proposing to put more money into domiciliary care in recognition that there are pressures and want to improve the quality of service.

We have 60,000 home care visits a week.

The quality of service provided has been looked at by the Care Quality Commission who has assessed us as one of the best in the region.

The service provided to us externally is very efficient and there is no evidence it could improve by bringing it back in-house. This would be a serious financial cost to the council if brought back in.

We are paying travelling expenses for care workers in most rural areas and a new contract approach we are pursuing later in the year will strengthen this even further.

I can assure residents that home care is in good hands and with support and monitoring from the Care Quality Commission, providers are giving the support that is needed.

We can do without councillors playing around with the truth in such a sensitive area as adult care merely for party political purposes. Cllr Mair should be ashamed of himself.

Mrs Patricia Bradwell

Deputy Leader & Executive Councillor for Children’s Services, Lincolnshire County Council