‘Dis­tress’ for res­i­dents as pri­vate firm to take care pro­vi­sion from NHS body

Southport Visiter - - Front Page -

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.

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