Labour councillor highlights rise in home care complaints

Posted on Monday 7th February 2011 at 8:20 am by SH (Editor)

From Cllr Andy Perkins (Labour)

Figures released by South Gloucestershire Council show that the number of complaints it has received about its home care service has risen by 47% since last year.

The figures, released in its Annual Report on Customer Complaints and Representation show that the Conservative-run Council received 88 complaints about its home care service from April 2009 to March 2010 – up 28 on last year. Of these, 83 (94%) were about home care provided by external agencies working in partnership with the Council. The Council currently buys 81% of its home care from external sources.

In contrast, the 19% of home care that is provided by the Council’s own staff resulted in only five (6%) of the complaints.

Councillor Andy Perkins (Labour) who chairs the Council committee which scrutinises the work of the Community Care department said;

“What concerns me about these figures is the disproportionate number of complaints that are received about external agencies. This is particularly worrying as the Conservative administration is committed to increasing the proportion of home care provided by external agencies and intends to expand its so-called partnership working into areas like residential care once it has closed the current eight elderly peoples’ homes.”

The number of complaints received by the Council about externally-provided home care was up from 53 last year – an increase of 57%. In contrast, the number of complaints received about the Council’s own service fell from seven in the previous year.

Councillor Perkins added;

“We are constantly told that the Council’s own home care service is more expensive than externally-provided services and that the Council gets ‘better value for money’ from these externally provided services. But these complaints figures show that the level of service provided by the cheaper external service is not better for our residents. This does not bode well with even more partnership working promised for the future.”

Source: Cllr Andy Perkins

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