Concern over Flintshire Council’s ‘Big Brother’ tactics

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

A SENIOR councillor has blasted Flintshire’s local authority for “Big Brother” tactics.

Cllr Bernie Attridge is calling for an investigation after he was contacted by two home care assistants in less than a week who claimed all homecare staff were being followed by council bosses while at work.

Cllr Attridge said: “One lady was very upset. She has worked for the council for more than 20 years and has never been involved in any disciplinary action or had much time off sick, so to be spied on like this is a disgrace.

“It’s getting dangerous as well. One lady said she’s had near misses in her car because instead of concentrating on the road she was looking at who was following her.”

Council bosses have admitted they do monitor staff, but have denied it could be classed as spying.

Susie Lunt, service manager for older people, said: “As a part of its domiciliary regulations the council has to ensure the service being delivered is meeting the required care standards, under Care Standards and Social Work Inspection Wales regulations, that the service is meeting the needs of the individual and that the service is value for money.

“The council does monitor the quality of service provided to individuals and this is done in a variety of ways including service or individual reviews whereby social workers, homecare managers or contract monitoring officers visit individuals in their own homes or monitoring officers visit the provider service office.

“We gather information, gain the view of the service user on how well the service is going and determine if it is meeting their assessed needs. If appropriate we seek feedback from the family or other stake holders as appropriate, for example the district nurse or GP.

“Should council officers discover any anomalies or concerns, these are reported to the agency or provider concerned.

“The council does not employ anyone to spy on its staff, whether they be in-house staff or staff employed via an independent contract.”

Cllr Attridge said: “The council says it’s not spying, but that’s exactly what it is.

“The council is supposed to be open and transparent, but there’s nothing open and transparent about sneaking around when employees are at work.

“If it was part of a disciplinary then I could understand, but to follow all home care assistants and try and catch them out is appalling.”

See full story in the Leader

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