Latest Public Sector News

02.01.15

Poor communication and staffing issues led to Powys home care problems

The reorganisation of home care services in Powys ran into difficulty because of problems including poor communication and staffing issues, according to an independent review.

In April last year Powys council cut its list of around 20 providers to four, leading to complaints of neglect from service users and their families.

The review, led by the Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University, found a number of problems including pressure to cut costs at the expense of careful decision-making, the desire to encourage local care providers despite reluctance among those providers to take on "problematic" or geographically remote cases and a lack of consultation with carers, service users or providers.

The review also found that there was a lack of expertise in commissioning and many care plans for service users were out of date and delivered late to new providers.

The review team made several recommendations to improve the commissioning process, including measures to assess the performance of providers as well as user needs and available resources.

The council said it accepted the recommendations, adding that work was already underway to improve the provision of home care, retrain staff and keep people informed about changes.

Cllr Darren Mayor, cabinet member for adult services, said: "We recognise that there are lessons to be learnt in what has been one of the largest transformational changes the council has undertaken.

"This report is an essential part of our learning process as we strive to make improvements through different service delivery models.

"We will be acting on the recommendations in order to improve the way we commission service changes."

The council cabinet will consider the report at a meeting on Tuesday.

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