Concern over adult care changes

PUBLISHED: 16:55 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:43 11 May 2010

Mandy Byrne with members of the Royston Stroke Club

Mandy Byrne with members of the Royston Stroke Club

MEMBERS of Royston Stroke Club have been put in an unacceptable position after changes in adult care provision, says the club s organiser. Mandy Byrne has written to MP Oliver Heald asking him to investigate the way in which the change of care provider

MEMBERS of Royston Stroke Club have been put in an "unacceptable position" after changes in adult care provision, says the club's organiser.

Mandy Byrne has written to MP Oliver Heald asking him to investigate the way in which the change of care provider from Carewatch to Careforce was handled.

She said: "I don't think there was any malice involved, but several members have come to me and expressed their confusion and worry over the changes.

"These people are by nature vulnerable, and the change has put many of them in what is an unacceptable position."

She explained that service- users were told by letter that Careforce would deliver their service from April 1, even though Government guidelines say that people should be given a choice.

She said: "It was only when we queried this that it became clear that the option of staying with Carewatch was available.

"This meant a lot of additional form filling and paperwork, and by the time this was processed the deadline had passed and users had no choice but to make the switch," she said.

Members of the club have also expressed concern that Carewatch does not have enough carers to cover all users, and those individual care plans, which detail the care and medication needed by users, have yet to be completed.

Mr Heald is currently attending a conference in South Africa.

His spokesman said that he has written to Herts County Council, which organise contracts for care provision, to "express the concerns of his constituents".

A spokesman for the county council said: "A letter was sent on January 3 to all service-users affected by changes to the home care contracts.

"It informed them that their provider would be changing from April, but that the service they receive should not be affected.

"Generally, in a transfer of this sort, it is usual for the care workers to transfer and continue providing services to their existing service users.

"This has in the main been our experience on this occasion.

"We did not state that some service-users may be able to continue with their existing provider as we could not guarantee that would be the case.

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