Mid Wales

Powys home care services transfer 'shambolic' says AM

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Media caption Tony Ferris is one of more than 1,000 people in Powys who need a home carer

An AM has branded the transfer of home care services in Powys "shambolic" after the council announced it was ending one company's contract just months after reorganisation.

The council said Reach Supported Living's services would transfer services to another firm because of performance issues.

Russell George AM has called for an investigation into the reorganisation.

Powys council said an independent review would be conducted.

It added that the company had struggled with consistency and quality.

Staff at Reach Supported Living will transfer to another firm called Abacare, which will take over in a phased transfer by the end of the month.

Service users, their families and carers have been informed.

'Challenges overcome'

Mr George told BBC Wales his office was still receiving dozens of calls each month from constituents complaining about the service four months after the reorganisation in May.

At the time, the council moved care provision from around 20 companies to just four.

Mr George said he thought care providers had not been able to fulfil their contact, and service users were not receiving continuity of care, case notes were not passed on to the new companies and in some cases there were no care plans in place for a long time.

He also said the level of complaints had risen since May.

Powys council has been asked to comment.

Darren Mayor, the council's cabinet member for adult care, said of the current transfer of service: "Although the company has overcome many challenges, after much deliberation and discussion with the council, they have agreed to withdraw from service delivery in Powys in order to maintain a sustainable quality provision.

"As a result we will be extending our contract with Abacare, who are already delivering successful home care services in the north of Powys.

"They will work closely with Reach to transfer both clients and their carers in the coming weeks to ensure there is little or no impact on the service users."

Cllr Mayor said the local authority was partnering with the Social Services Improvement Agency to conduct an independent review of the commissioning process.

Bethan Evans, director of Reach said: "I deeply regret that we were unable to deliver care to our usual, high standards for all the people that we support, in the weeks following the transfer of 2,800 weekly care hours to us."

She said the company had been "unable to immediately overcome significant challenges, not least those created by a problematic transition process," adding that the firm hoped to contribute to the independent review.

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