Council to reduce home care staff by 70 per cent

Tower Hamlets council is planning a major reorganisation of in-house home care resulting in a 70 per cent reduction in frontline care staff as part of its efficiency strategy.

The reorganisation follows a Which? report praising the borough for providing free home care to people with critical and substantial needs in comparison to boroughs such as Lambeth that charge over �17 an hour.

Under current proposals the council would replace its long term in-house care services with short term Reablement, a programme designed to offer a six week rehabilitation course that enables them to better care for themselves and reduces patients need for future long term care.

This would see its current staff of 166 in-house carers, who help mainly elderly and incapacitated users with tasks such as getting an and out of bed, reduced to around 50 Reablement Officers, with all long term in-house care will be shifted from council employees to external providers by 2013.

The council are estimating that there will be only be 55 enforced redundancies as previous years suggest that around 25 people leave the service each year.


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Tower Hamlets council is adamant that passing all long term home care to external providers will not harm the level of adult social care that has been awarded a rating of ‘overall performing excellently’ by independent regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the last seven years, stating that they only commission from suppliers who provide domiciliary care that is judged ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ by the CQC.

The Tower Hamlets Reablement Service was introduced in January 2009 at the Royal London and Mile End Hospitals has proved popular with the council, carers, unions and those receiving the service.

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A recent council survey reported that 88 per cent of people interviewed said their confidence had increased, whilst 47 per cent of people needed no further care after the service ended.

Last week, in a letter to East London Advertiser, Michael Clark, a resident and Unison Shop Steward, wrote: “The social cohesion provided by a mature, local workforce, mixed in gender and race that reaches into every corner of the borough cannot be overestimated.”

If you are currently receiving in house home care from the council or have been through the Reablement service, or if you know someone likely to be affected by these changes please get in touch.

Email ela.editorial@archant.co.uk or visit our Facebook or Twitter pages

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