Blaenau Gwent home care could leave council control
1:01pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
COUNCIL run home care in Blaenau Gwent could become an independent ‘ not for profit’ service as the council attempts to address its £10 million deficit for 2014.
On August 2 Blaenau Gwent Council decided to outsource its in-house home care service, and up to 140 home care staff were told they could lose their jobs.
The decision was made as the council attempts to address a £2.5 million hole in its budget, part of a £10 million deficit for 2014.
Currently, 25 per cent of home care staff are council employees, with the remaining 75 per cent outsourced by independent care providers.
However, workers with help from their trade union GMB, vowed to fight tooth and nail to retain their jobs and since then have been in discussion with the council to find alternate ways to deliver the service.
Executive member for adult social services Haydn Trollope and the corporate director of social services have been in consultation with staff.
A council spokeswoman said: “Following these meetings with Blaenau Gwent Homecare Service staff discussions are now moving forward to evaluate alternative ways for the future delivery of the service to ensure that care of residents is not compromised in any way.
“Staff at the meetings have welcomed the decision by the Leader of the Council and Officers to consider developing a ‘not for profit service’ as the preferred option. This is viewed as the best way to ensure the continuity and quality of service delivery.
“ A number of people volunteered to be part of a wider working group along with trade union representatives to support officers in evaluating this route for homecare delivery to find examples of best practice where services are delivered in this way.”
At the meetings held in Abertillery and Ebbw Vale, Liz Majer, corporate director of social services reassured staff that there ‘would be no immediate change to the Homecare Service’ and it is business as usual until reasonable alternatives are found.
She said: “It must be emphasised that financial savings within Homecare have to be found due to the Council’s financial position.
“However, people who benefit from the service and the support from Homecare staff should be reassured that no decision will be made about changes to the service without further consultation and discussion with staff and service users.”
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