Home care watch

Having less-than-adroitly reneged on one set of ridiculous and uncosted election promises – around waste collection – through the use of a so-called citizen’s jury, a process handily managed by a Labour-friendly organisation in exchange for a fat fee, Helen Holland’s Labour administration can now begin to start reneging on their next ludicrous and uncosted election promise.

This is of course the entirely undeliverable guarantee they made not to privatise any more of the city’s home care service. After a six month silence from social services supremo Peter Hammond – who was presumably hoping we’d all forget about his daft promises in that amount of time – this last week has suddenly seen a mild flurry of activity-like noises around the home care issue.

Specifically, a document has been released, apparently by social services director Annie Hudson, outlining proposals from something called the ‘Home Care Stakeholder Working Group’.

They have basically made five proposals:

  1. That a short term assessment and reablement service be established to deliver care for up to 6 weeks with approximately 70 in-house staff. The argument being that intensive reablement immediately after discharge from hospital or crisis can substantially improve independence (and therefore need for care) in the longer term.
  2. That approximately 300 staff in the HCBU (Home Care Business Unit) should then aim to deliver approximately 6500 hours of service per week. In order to achieve this the HCBU will have to make extensive business efficiencies and aim to have only 15% non contact time.
  3. That the HCBU should only take packages of care which are at least 5 hours in duration per week. And it’s worth noting that the HCBU would not be the sole provider of these types of packages either but rather they’d be a market partner along with the independent sector.
  4. That the HCBU develops an area of growth, above the 6500 hours, delivering VSH (Very Sheltered Housing) care and support.
  5. That domestic only services (i.e. Shopping, cleaning and laundry) should be provided elsewhere and not by the HCBU.

Excellent eh? But what the hell does it all mean? Well, remembering that sage advice of Woodward and Bernstein let’s “follow the money”.

And here’s what Ms Hudson’s report says elsewhere:

13. The Home Care Futures Project Board chaired by the Director is carefully considering and costing these proposals in order to assess their viability, and impact of the wider care market

14. . . . The financial implications of the proposals made by the Home Care Stakeholder Working Group are currently being evaluated.

It is not possible at this stage to provide specific details of the HR implications

What’s happened then, during this last six months of silence, is that idiot Hammond has set up two committees – the ‘Home Care Stakeholder Working Group’ and the ‘The Home Care Futures Project Board’ – despite telling the Cancer:

“I can also state clearly there will not be a select committee to oversee the progress of home care as I feel that would hold things up.”

Presumably his theory being that two committees with the name changed are faster than one then? And in this time idiot Hammond has managed to convert his series of uncosted election promises into a series of uncosted aspirations instead!

Brilliant work Peter. Any idea when we might get a proper costed policy? And how much are you overspending by in the meantime?

This entry was posted in Bristol, Home Care, Labour Party, Local elections 2007, Local government, Politics, Social Care, Trade Unionism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Home care watch

  1. Bluebaldee says:

    Without a doubt they need to immediately contract some CONsultants to advise the two committees and draft a Bristol Home Care Market Appraisal (Future) document to take these unpleasant and politically embarrassing decisions out of poor Peter’s hands.

    Should only cost £500,000 or so. Absolute snip.

  2. Woodsy says:


    That doesn’t exist in any dictionary I know. Thanks for explaining what they were on about, Blogger!

    How much longer are we going to allow these lumpen idiots to destroy the English language (and the city)?

  3. vernony says:

    Interesting and one feels that there is a lot more, not said by this Council.

  4. digger says:

    If Bristol voters/ taxpayers are happy to spend £20+ per hour for ‘in-house’ home care as opposed to about £12 for independent sector home care then good luck to them. And if they’re happy that staff/TU interests seem to be taken more seriously than anything else then they can’t really blame anyone else.

  5. Gary Hopkins says:

    An expensive committee ,sorry working group,paid for by Bristol taxpayers where the public and oppostion councillors are not even allowed to observe. Who said smoke filled rooms were a thing of the past.

  6. Digger says:

    Sadly for Bristol, there’s a huge elephant in the room of that working group with “INCREDIBLY HIGH IN HOUSE UNIT COST”
    written on its side. But no-one’s allowed to look at it, and reports aren’t allowed to mention it.

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