‘Distress’ for residents as private firm to take care provision from NHS body
RESIDENTS who require 24-hour care or home visits are said to be distressed after being told their care company will stop providing services.
One Southport resident, whose brother requires round-theclock supervision, said those being cared for cannot easily adapt to change and facing great uncertainty.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said she feared that if a new service provider was brought in at a lower cost it could lead to frequent staff turnover and ultimately more distress for those being cared for.
She said: “We’ve been told they’re going to end the service but we don’t know what happens next.
“We got a letter about it but I can’t even tell my brother because he just won’t understand. When he has a cup of tea, he has to have it at a certain time, then it must be put away in a certain place in a certain way and if it isn’t he can’t cope and the whole day is over. It’s taken years to build up the trust and that will be lost. They’ll be distressed when new people come in and don’t know them and don’t understand them.”
The uncertainty comes after Mersey Care contacted those affected and their families to explain that it would no longer be providing supported living services (SLS) and dispersed intensive supported housing (DISH) services in Sefton after March 30, 2019.
In a statement, Merseycare said the decision was made by the organisations that fund the care service – Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Southport and Formby CCG.
But fears remain over how well service users can adapt to the change, and the prospect of an NHS-run service being replaced by a private firm.
In particular, the Southport woman fears frequent staff turnover is likely and will cause serious distress.
In a joint statement, Sefton Council and the two CCGs said that no-one will be asked to move as a result of the change in the service provider and those receiving care will be supported throughout.
The statement read: “We recognise that change can be unsettling, and we want to reassure people using the supported living services and dispersed intensive supported housing that they will not be asked to move home because of these changes. The change being made is to the provider of the service.
“We are working to ensure everyone who uses these services are fully supported throughout this change.
“Sefton Council and CCGs have asked
Sefton Advocacy, an independent advocacy agency, to support this change. Their role is very important in helping users to contribute in the selection of the future provider.
“This will be done through a number of different engagement events and meetings.”
Anyone with concerns can talk to the supported living review team on 0151 934 4331.