4,000 hours of work lost as county home care services go private

A freedom of information request by Plaid Cymru has shown that despite assurances given by the Labour-Independent council, home care services in the county have undergone a process of creeping privatisation.

Over the past 4 years, 2006-2010, over 4,000 hours of in house work has been outsourced. The most recent figures show that for the first time the majority of home care services in the county are now being provided by private contractors. Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM and Jonathan Edwards MP have spoken of their anger after high profile protests back in 2007 by council workers and unions, were met by council officials bitterly denying any process of privatisation.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM said:

“These figures are highly concerning. The Labour-Independent council vigorously denied that they were privatising the home care services when I joined many care workers and union officials to protest against this back in 2007. I have continually highlighted my concerns with the council since then and have always been assured they were not undertaking a process of privatisation in the home care services. However, the figures that have come to us under this freedom of information request show that the majority of our home care services are now being run by private contractors. I am very disappointed front line workers have seemingly been misled and that they have suffered by loosing work as a result.”

Jonathan Edwards MP added:

“That 4,000 hours of work has been withdrawn from home care workers in the county is appalling. I remember the protests when cuts to the home care services were announced, and I remember how upset some of those front line workers were. I also remember Labour councillors at the time arguing that there was no privatisation taking place. With the majority of home care services being private now it appears that those words were not honest.”

Nerys Evans AM added:

“No one is suggesting that there shouldn’t be a private presence in delivering social care services in the county. We accept that there has to be a flexible system but when you consider that the level of home care services made up from private contractors has gone from 21% to 53% in just 4 years, taking away a staggering 4,124 hourse away from existing workers, it appears that the council have gone too far. That is a radical change to the way social services are run in the county, in a very short period of time. We are talking here about the wellbeing of some of the most vunerable people in society and I am not convinced it offers residents in the county the same consistency of service they should expect.”

Peter Hughes Griffiths, the Plaid Cymru Group Leader on Carmarthenshire County Council, commented:

“Offloading care on this scale on to the private sector is unacceptable and Carmarthenshire County Council must put a halt to this trend. We have reached a stage where we must now redress the situation and I will certainly ask the Labour Executive Board member to take such steps as a matter of urgency.”

DIWEDD / ENDS
Nodiadau / Notes:

The F.O.I requested was as follows:

“What percentages of home care workers are employed directly by the council and what percentage of the service is outsourced to private contractors? Can I request these figures to be shown for the past 5 years to view how the ratio has, if at all, changed.”

In response, please find below the requested information.

Total and Percentage of domiciliary care hours 2006 – 2010

Date LA hours % P&V hours %
31/03/2006 10260 79% 2690 21%
31/03/2007 8555 68% 4002 32%
31/03/2008 7558 57% 5699 43%
31/03/2009 7067 53% 6180 47%
31/03/2010 6136 47% 7045 53%

One Response to “4,000 hours of work lost as county home care services go private” [latest first]

  1. Privatisation through the back door will continue to escalate as a 4 year contract with Allied Healthcare has just been agreed which gives them the opportunity to deliver 2000 home care services per week (104,000 hours per year).

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