When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Fears for East Lancashire's small care providers
A SHAKE-UP in home care funding will leave dozens of small firms facing closure, according to a concerned manager.
Lancashire County Council wants to cut costs by reducing the number of agencies providing public -ly-funded domiciliary care. It said discussions were ongoing to establish how many there will be.
But Lisa Hunneybell, manager of I&A Homecare Services, Accrington, is under the impression the number is to be cut from 129 to just 23.
She fears this will lead to job losses and a poorer standard of care for users, as many will lose the chance to use their preferred company.
She said: “Lots of agencies are going to be out of work, which will mean job losses. Service users will suddenly be told they have to use a different company.”
She said smaller firms would be unable to compete on price during the bidding process, so the contracts would go to the bigger companies.
Councillor Tony Martin, cabinet member for adult and community services, said: “Homecare providers and the county council agree we need to reduce the number of agencies operating within Lancashire, and we are working closely with the industry to establish what an appropriate number would be. We will put the contracts out to tender.
“While reducing the number of contracts for homecare would save on administrative costs, the overall cost of any new agreement would largely depend on how providers bid during tendering.
"We recognise some people may have concerns. However, in the longer term, we believe the new agreements will lead to an even better quality service, for example by improving consistency in areas such as staff training and by reducing travel time.
“While we are proposing to reduce the number of providers, the overall number of carers needed to meet the demand for services is unlikely to change significantly, so these important jobs will remain in the local economy.”
Comments are closed on this article.