DCSIMG

Private carers brought in admist homecare “chaos” in East Dunbartonshire

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COMPLAINTS continue to flood into the Herald office over a ‘bungled’ home care shake-up.

Council chiefs have been forced to shell out on private contractors to help their beleaguered service.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s Homecare department, who provide care services for elderly and vulnerable residents in their own home, was overhauled last month - with 35 workers taking voluntary redundancies instead of accepting new cost-cutting working conditions.

Many residents were shocked to receive NO care in the week following the relaunch, but admitted that the service had improved following initial teething problems.

However, last week several homecare clients were told that they would be cared for by the private sector for the foreseeable future.

And relatives are now demanding to know how this fits in with the council’s cost-cutting plans.

One Bishopbriggs man said: “My wife is one of the people who has been messed around by this homecare shakeup.

“The first week was bad enough but then, all of a sudden, on Thursday we got a call from a private company called Delight Supported Living saying they were taking over from Friday onwards.

“We didn’t get a call from the council or asked whether this would be ok - it’s shocking.

“It seems ridiculous that the council are having to pay for this when they are meant to be cutting costs.

“This whole thing has been mismanaged from start to finish.”

A Lenzie man added: “My 84-year-old mother, who lives in Kirkintilloch, gets care every day and had always been looked after wonderfully by the carer who used to see her.

“Now she’s been getting different people every day and just recently got a call saying a company called Abbotsford are going to be taking care of her now.

“How on earth can this be saving the council money? It’s hard to believe.”

Freda McShane, acting head of social work, said: “Following the Strategic Review of Homecare approved by the council, three categories of homecare were established, these are re-ablement, complex care and non-complex care.

“Non-complex care is delivered by private companies, while the other two categories are delivered by in-house council homecare.

“The council has always used private companies to supply care at home as this promotes best value. The new model means that more customers receive their care from the one provider rather than a ‘mixed’ package of in-house homecare and

‘private’ provision that was used under the previous model.

“All our customers have been written to in advance of any changes to their care from in-house to private, or vice versa. Very occasionally a private carer may replace an in-house carer at short notice to provide emergency cover for absence.In this situation it is not always possible to inform a customer.”

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