Suspended care provider is reinstated

PUBLISHED: 19:13 26 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

A CARE provider s contract with Herts County Council (HCC) has been reinstated after it was suspended in May following a deluge of complaints about services. Supporta Care started caring for the district s elderly and vulnerable in April after taking over

A CARE provider's contract with Herts County Council (HCC) has been reinstated after it was suspended in May following a deluge of complaints about services.

Supporta Care started caring for the district's elderly and vulnerable in April after taking over from three previous providers but it quickly faced criticism from those relying on the service.

Although the individual carers themselves were widely praised, many people complained of sporadic care at the weekends and a lack of time allocated to customers.

Some frail elderly and vulnerable people reported lying in bed until the afternoon over the weekends unable to move, get clean or even have a drink or eat because the carers were unable to get to them any sooner.

Supporta Care largely attributed the problems to transitional arrangements.

HCC, which selected the company after a nine-month retendering process, stopped allocating it any new work because of the problems.

That left at least one elderly woman stuck in hospital more than three weeks after she was fit to leave because there was no carer to look after her at home.

Following a meeting with the company earlier this month, HCC has now agreed to lift the suspension in light of improvements in the company and a significant drop in the number of complaints.

A spokesperson for HCC's Adult Care Services said: "Supporta Care has made improvements to its operations including the recruitment of new staff and management and extra training."

He added: "There has been a significant drop in the number of complaints. A new telephone system has been installed so that all calls are recorded and monitored to ensure that there is an appropriate and timely response to any concerns."

The spokesperson also said that a further meeting would be held in three months time to review the situation.

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