Highly-criticised home-care contract remains suspended

PUBLISHED: 11:52 28 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:25 06 May 2010

THE SUSPENSION of the home-care contract serving the district s elderly and vulnerable has been extended because the problems are not resolved. Herts County Council (HCC) stopped placing any new work with Supporta Care at the end of May after it emerged t

THE SUSPENSION of the home-care contract serving the district's elderly and vulnerable has been extended because the problems are not resolved.

Herts County Council (HCC) stopped placing any new work with Supporta Care at the end of May after it emerged that people relying on the service were going without vital care at the weekends.

The action came after the Herts Advertiser revealed the extent of the problems which left some frail elderly people lying in bed until the afternoon unable to move, wash, eat or drink.

The carers themselves have been highly praised but the management of Supporta Care, which took over the contract from previous providers Goldsborough, MPM and Sage in April, has come under fire.

HCC, who awarded the seven year contract after a nine-month re-tendering process, extended the initial 28-day suspension period last week because Supporta Care had failed to prove the problems were resolved. In the meantime, new clients are being placed with another care provider.

While some have attributed the problems to under-staffing, Supporta Care's management has denied this, insisting that it is due to the previous companies failing to complete and transfer the appropriate paperwork.

A spokesperson for Adult Care Services at HCC said: "The Supporta Care contract will not be reinstated after 28 days. The suspension will continue until such time that they can deliver timely care to the appropriate standard in accordance with their contract with us.

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