A Lincoln woman has claimed that her 89-year-old grandad who suffers from dementia and reduced mobility could have been killed because of the actions of a new home care service provider.
As previously reported, Lincolnshire County Council agreed on 12 prime providers for adult home care for different county zones following a procurement process, with the new contracts having come into force in September 2015.
Previously the council had contracted directly with over 70 businesses just for home care services.
One of the new care providers is Sagecare, which is based in Peterborough and successfully bid for the Lincoln South zone.
But for one Lincoln mum, who has asked to remain anonymous, the new service has caused a range of problems for her grandad, who has received home care for four years.
She has claimed that no care plan has been put in place for her grandad, despite calling for an appointment every day for the last seven weeks.
It has also been alleged that the carer administered the wrong medication, did not wash him properly and did not make him a hot drink, with potentially damaging consequences.
She said: “Myself and my father returned and found my grandad on his own in the kitchen with the contents of a boiling hot kettle on the floor around him. This was because he hadn’t been made a cup of tea and tried to make his own.
“Luckily for him he was not injured and the medication he was administered wrongly was just his night time tablets so there was no real cause for concern.
“However I believe the lack of paperwork from the care home could have potentially killed my grandad, and it would have been avoidable.
“Up until September 21 his care provider was Care UK, and while we had the normal few issues crop up every now and again, on the whole they provided a fair standard of care and were consistent in their approach and with call times.
“As a family we are left feeling that my grandad’s care needs just don’t matter to Sagecare. They seem unprofessional and disorganised and I really don’t know why the council gave a care contract to a company not even based in Lincolnshire.”
Lincolnshire County Council has argued that by bringing down the number of providers they were able to more closely manage the contract.
Similarly, the providers were offered guaranteed volumes of work which was hoped to help with business planning, recruiting and retaining staff.
Pete Sidgwick, assistant director for adult care at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The new contracts with our 12 prime home care providers are working well in most of the county; around 3,400 people have transferred to their new providers without disruption.
“We’re monitoring the new arrangements carefully and working really closely with providers on a daily basis to address any problems as they arise.
“However, if anyone has concerns about their care we would encourage them to speak with the care provider and if it can’t be resolved then to speak to their social worker or call our customer service centre so that we can investigate and resolve their concerns.”
A spokesperson for Sagecare added: “We were very sorry to hear that someone that uses Sagecare’s services in Lincoln has had a poor experience of our service.
“It would not be appropriate for us to discuss an individual’s service through the media, but we can assure your readers that we have identified the gentleman in question and had already made arrangements to meet with him and his family this week to complete outstanding paperwork and to make further investigations into the complaints that have been made.
“We would add that Sagecare is not a new provider in Lincolnshire and that we have provided services in the county very successfully for some years (although not previously in Lincoln itself).
“Although our local office is in Peterborough, we have deployed local community-based supervisors in Lincoln to ensure that our service users and care workers have first-class management support close to their place of work.
“The quality of our service is always our primary concern and we are confident that those we support in Lincoln can look forward to a stable and reliable service of the highest standard under the new Council contracts.”