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Council (Wirral Council) 14th October 2013 Questions to the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care (Cllr Chris Jones)
Cllr Stuart Kelly asked, “I liked what the Cabinet Member said in her report about the commissioning of services, but is the Cabinet Member embarrassed that Wirral was named and shamed over the summer as the council with most contracts with most care homes on Merseyside using zero hour contracts for their employees?
Is she also aware the response that was given to me when I submitted a Freedom of Information request which asked how many contractors for Wirral Council providing Council services have used zero hour contracts? The reply I received was Wirral Council does not have a policy on the use of zero hour contracts and that Wirral Council would not hold information about the resource management of our contractors as how they manage resources is a matter for the contractor. Does she still stand by that reply on behalf of the Administration and believe that resource management is not a matter for the Council when considering that we place contracts for care services for vulnerable people and when will we see a policy on the use of zero hour contracts by companies Council contracts with to provide services?”
Cllr Simon Mountney asked, “The Cabinet Member in her report details changes to residential and day services, which have been delivered on time and within Budget. Can she explain what effect the department’s failure to hit the performance indicator for permanent admissions of older people to residential & nursing care homes, as reported to Cabinet on Thursday will have on the department’s Budget and can she please give me an assurance that the same rigour and process are applied to the alleged payment of £48,000 is as being applied to the Martin Morton issue please?
Cllr Anita Leech asked, “I was delighted to hear from students and staff when I recently visited Moreton Day Centre which falls within my ward, that the much smaller group of students remaining have been able to carry out alternative and increased activity and participate in the local and vibrant community as well as the usual centre based activities and they are happy with the proposed move to other.. and I’d like to personally thank the staff of the day centre, parent and carer’s groups and the officers of the Council for the hard work they’ve put into reviewing this unfortunate closure as we’re providing what appears to be a facility that could be improved upon for the students remaining. I would however like to ask the question with regards to the hundred people who transferred from the services from Moreton. Did one to one consultation take place as was indicated to identify the needs of the individual and were their places allocated accordingly? And secondly how was the transition for the students, were there any issues?”
Cllr Phil Gilchrist asked, “Can I ask the Cabinet Member about the domiciliary contracts and the care of the elderly? What monitoring is undertaken in Wirral to ensure that Wirral isn’t subject to some of the problems identified recently nationally where mistakes were made by very limited time available for clients?”
Cllr Chris Jones responded, “Thank you very much for your questions, it’s nice to know you’ve actually looked at my report.
I suppose I can answer the two together really about the domiciliary contracts. If you had read the second page of my report, you’d see that we’re trying to support the principles of the ethical care charter, which looks after the workers as well as some looking at the people who need care. We are actively encouraging people and the firms who are going to tender to not use any zero hours contracts and we’ve asked for a report from the HR department to find out how many contractors that are generally used by the Council are using these zero hours contracts.
Stuart’s commissioning of services, we’re doing an awful lot of work with the NHS which has been a huge problem in the past I think we’re working far more closely together now around intermediate care and all the rest of it. The zero hours contract I’ve already answered Stuart. Chris Begya and Jacqui Evans’ reports are, Jacqui Evans is undertaking and is personally involved with the commissioning work and is making great inroads into that and looking at savings as well as improving quality of care for the people of the Wirral.
Anita asked about Moreton Day Centre. Everybody who attended Moreton has had a one to one .. they also had a .. visit to their new centre which we felt was really important. About seventy people have actually transferred, mainly to … which is a really popular choice mainly around .. moving anyway and to Heswall but others have gone to Pensby and Eastham as well but increasing places at Dale Farm taking extra visits to Dale Farm, and generally people have settled really well. Some of the staff have moved with the service users so .. a little bit of continuity of care for those users. Thank you Mr Mayor.”
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