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Rhos care home families fume over 'broken promises'

Published date: 08 August 2014 |
Published by: Jonathan Grieve
Read more articles by Jonathan Grieve


 

FAMILIES of residents at a residential home have hit out over what they called “broken promises” over the outsourcing of care.

Domiciliary care at Plas yn Rhos sheltered housing complex in Rhos was put out to tender to private companies as part of cuts to Wrexham Council’s 2015-16 budget.

But concerned relatives have voiced their anger at the way the care contract was decided.

Tracy Orr, 43, of Wallasey, whose aunt is a resident at the home, said families were promised they would get to choose from two companies who had submitted bids to take over care at the facility – AMG Nursing and Deevale Home and Care Services.

But at the last minute, a third company, Calon Lan Community Care, entered the running.

Ms Orr said a decision was ultimately made by five of the 17 residents at the home in a separate meeting where only one resident was represented by family members.

And she said their decision to choose Calon Lan as the new service provider was swayed by a promise to retain the existing staff, a pledge, she said, they would be unable to meet.

Ms Orr said: “Five residents had been in a meeting last Thursday morning. One of the residents did have a family member with them.

“One of those residents was my aunt, who is blind and deaf and another resident who has mental capacity issues.

“The resident who had a family member with them can’t hear at all.

“Twelve families turned up to be told that whatever we wanted wouldn’t be taken into consideration because those five people had been consulted by the care providers.

“At no point was anyone informed that by not attending the meeting they were giving up their right to vote.

“We then went through a farcical three-and-a-half hour meeting with the companies when our opinions were not even considered.”

A formal complaint over the consultation has been submitted to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Wrexham Council said it had been “committed” to ensuring tenants were “fully and actively involved in choosing the new care provider”.

North Wales Liberal Democrat AM Aled Roberts confirmed he had been in discussions with families and said they were pursuing “a number of options” over the consultation decision.

The proposed changes to services were detailed in a Wrexham Council report identifying budget savings for 2015-16, with the decision to put domiciliary care at the home out to tender, as well as retendering all other domiciliary care contracts, hoping to save the council £650,000. 

Andrew Figiel, head of adult social care for Wrexham Council, said the council gave “proper regard” to the residents’ views about who they want to provide their care.

He said: “Throughout the planning for the changes at Plas Yn Rhos, the council has been committed to ensuring that the tenants themselves were fully and actively involved in choosing the new care provider.

“Subsequently, the tenants were involved in interviewing the prospective carers and were fully able and competent in stating their choice of provider.

“The approach that we take in the council is to give proper regard to the views of older people in decision making about their lives and about who they wish to care for them.”

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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