Threat to privatise service for the elderly in Worcestershire

Threat to privatise service for the elderly in Worcestershire

Threat to privatise service for the elderly in Worcestershire

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A COUNCIL-RUN service which places old and vulnerable people in the care of families across Worcestershire is facing privatisation, it has emerged.

Worcestershire County Council has revealed it wants to find an outside provider for its Shared Lives project, placing 11 jobs at risk.

The programme places vulnerable people with either families or single residents prepared to act as carers, who are paid to look after them through a personal budget.

Over the last year it has helped 102 vulnerable people avoid being placed in care homes, and operates with a budget of £200,000.

But the Conservative leadership believes as institutionalised care is becoming old-fashioned, and with an ageing population, the number of people using Shared Lives could rocket in future years.

And massive pressures on the budget means £32 million is being slashed from adult care by 2017, meaning the service could be at risk if it remains in-house.

Your Worcester News can now reveal how the hunt is being launched for a new operator, which could be a private firm.

The council says as part of any deal, the 102 vulnerable people currently in the system will remain with the same families as now and their personal budgets would not be affected.

It comes just three days after we revealed how four day care centres in Worcestershire are at risk of closure.

On Monday we reported how the authority aims to save £800,000 by finding alternative day-time venues for those attending Timberdine Nursing in Worcester, Howbury in Malvern, The Grange in Kidderminster and Smallwood Lodge in Redditch.

That moves leave 15 jobs at risk, with a decision due to be made on the closures in June 2015 once solutions can be found for all users.

Sheila Blagg, cabinet member for adult social care, said: "In Worcestershire there are already a number of external organisations providing adult care services.

"This is about us dealing with a small number of in-house services in top of that."

But it has not gone down well among the opposition Labour group at County Hall, which says it plans to campaign against it.

Councillor Richard Udall, group chairman, said: "The Conservative administration is showing a blatant disregard to those who need our help and support, this is a desperate measure to save money at the expense of some of the most vulnerable in society, frankly it stinks."

Comments (3)

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4:45pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Marant says...

Here's a thought.. could the people who currently run this and who's jobs may be at risk not come up with a business plan to take it over and run it themselves as a private business?
Here's a thought.. could the people who currently run this and who's jobs may be at risk not come up with a business plan to take it over and run it themselves as a private business? Marant
  • Score: 2

9:37pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Jabbadad says...

Well after reading Shelia Blagg saying locally and perhaps softly so they didn't hear in London that there was nothing left to cut in Adult Services, i's no suprise to read her support for more privatisatiion, whic of course is the CONservative mandate.
Typical politics do we expect any different?
Well after reading Shelia Blagg saying locally and perhaps softly so they didn't hear in London that there was nothing left to cut in Adult Services, i's no suprise to read her support for more privatisatiion, whic of course is the CONservative mandate. Typical politics do we expect any different? Jabbadad
  • Score: -2

11:04pm Fri 25 Jul 14

jb says...

At the moment there is a huge emphasis being put on finding foster parents in the area, people get paid quite a lot of money to take in other peoples children. Don't get me wrong, this is a valuable and necessary service for children who need help. Therefore why the hell can't the same amount of money be put into caring for adults who are just as vulnerable if not more vulnerable than some of these children? Private fostering agencies appear to thrive so maybe the answer is to privatIse these services as it's blatantly obvious that the powers that be in county council haven't got the first clue how to deal with the situation.
Also finding 'alternative venues' to day centres maybe suggesting people be taken to meet in coffee houses or similar venues in the city, instead of being able to spend the best part of the day wth friends and being motivated and occupied. My son is fortunate as I've found a fantastic support company run by someone who understands what's required to make life enjoyable for someone with complex needs and disabilities. In my opinion, for what it's worth, privatising services for the elderly, disabled and vulnerable is just a case of off loading the problem and signing off the funding.
At the moment there is a huge emphasis being put on finding foster parents in the area, people get paid quite a lot of money to take in other peoples children. Don't get me wrong, this is a valuable and necessary service for children who need help. Therefore why the hell can't the same amount of money be put into caring for adults who are just as vulnerable if not more vulnerable than some of these children? Private fostering agencies appear to thrive so maybe the answer is to privatIse these services as it's blatantly obvious that the powers that be in county council haven't got the first clue how to deal with the situation. Also finding 'alternative venues' to day centres maybe suggesting people be taken to meet in coffee houses or similar venues in the city, instead of being able to spend the best part of the day wth friends and being motivated and occupied. My son is fortunate as I've found a fantastic support company run by someone who understands what's required to make life enjoyable for someone with complex needs and disabilities. In my opinion, for what it's worth, privatising services for the elderly, disabled and vulnerable is just a case of off loading the problem and signing off the funding. jb
  • Score: -1

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