Care provider to be investigated

SOCIAL services chiefs in Suffolk were today being asked to investigate a care provider in Ipswich after clients said they were not getting the level of care they were entitled to.

SOCIAL services chiefs in Suffolk were today being asked to investigate a care provider in Ipswich after clients said they were not getting the level of care they were entitled to.

The opposition Labour group on the county council is to table a motion to this week's council meeting asking monitoring officers from the council's adult care services department to check the service offered by Carewatch Ipswich.

Labour group deputy leader Kevan Lim said he was concerned because he had heard from an elderly constituent who was due to have two and a quarter hours of care a day but had told him they often only had carers for between one and a quarter and one and a half hours.

He said: “I have heard of other cases, and I think it is in everyone's interest if our officers monitor the level of service provided by this company.”


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He feared that the company had taken on too many clients and did not have enough staff to provide the level of service it was contracted to.

Mr Lim said clients had also told him they were disappointed because they no longer had regular carers but different people every time - and that they felt they were sometimes dealt with at inappropriate times.

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He said: “I have heard about someone who is due to get a call at 12.30pm to prepare lunch, but is getting the visit at 11am and someone else who was woken up late at night for a call when they should have a carer to help them get into bed.”

Elaine Grace, manager of Carewatch Ipswich, said: “I am not aware of any complaints. Some of the people whose care we took over had the number of hours they were due to get cut at the same time as the change.”

The company monitored the work of its carers to ensure that all its clients received the level of care they were contracted for.

She said the company tried to give people the same carers to establish a relationship, but many of the staff were part-time and that was not always possible.

She added: “There have been some difficulties over the times of our visits because of a breakdown in communications with the county council when we took over the contracts but we are working to resolve them.”

A spokesman for the county council said: “A councillor has alerted us to what he believes may be a problem with care in their own homes being delivered to customers in Ipswich, and we treat all such matters very seriously.

“We will be seeking further detailed information from the councillor so that we can look into the matter properly.

“We regularly check and monitor what care our customers receive from the agencies working on our behalf, and we are not aware of any significant problems, but of course we have an open mind and always look very carefully at any information brought to us.”

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