I am so proud that after signing the UNISION Ethical Care Charter last year Reading Council has just ‘gone live’ with its new Home Care Framework. Any provider who receives business from the council under this framework will have to pay their workers for travel time and offer proper training and will also pay their staff the living wage.
A dignified and valued work force is essential to deliver a dignified and quality service to the people who rely on this service.
Labour councils across the country are going to be facing very tough decisions over the coming years. It is more important than ever that we act decisively to make a difference in the areas we can. This is one area that I believe will make a huge difference to helping people live fulfilling and dignified lives.
Council Choses New Home Care Providers to Help Drive up Standards
Reading Borough Council Press Release
A NEW framework agreement between the Council and a specially selected list of providers is being launched to help improve home care standards.
The Home Care Framework replaces the Domiciliary Care Accreditation Supplier List and will be used to choose future services for Reading residents who require home care support.
The Council, Healthwatch Reading and home care users worked together to put together the list of 12 preferred providers. The successful providers were chosen on their commitment to deliver high quality services to improve outcomes for Reading residents, and the Council will work closely with the companies on the list to monitor and improve service quality.
Providers must comply with Reading’s local Dignity Charter to promote and protect the dignity of individuals, and must also meet the requirements of the UNISON Ethical Care Charter to promote better quality of care and working conditions for care workers. This includes paying the living wage, proper training and payment for travel time.
Residents can continue with providers who are not on the new list if they are satisfied with the service and do not wish to make any changes. However, the Council will inform them of any quality issues and they can transfer to a new provider on the approved list at any time.
Lead Councillor for Adult Social Care, Rachel Eden said:
“The Council is determined to drive up homecare services in the face of continued government cuts and as people’s needs grow.
This new framework is an important step in implementing the council’s Ethical Care and Dignity Charters to ensure that everyone – Council commissioners, providers and care workers – work together to provide the best quality homecare for residents.”
Mandeep Kaur Sira, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Reading said:
“Home care is delivered to some of the most vulnerable people in our community, and they deserve a high quality service that keeps them safe, retains their dignity, helps them move on from injury or illness, and allows them to live independently at home for longer. This unique partnership project between Healthwatch Reading and RBC has ensured that the views of home care service users and their carers have had a direct influence over the new quality standards set for home care and also a direct say over which home agencies were selected for the new framework. We hope this heralds more direct public involvement in influencing future social care provision in Reading.”
Notes for Editors:
The UNISON Ethical Care Charter sets minimum standards to protect the dignity and quality of life for people who need homecare. It commits councils to buying home care only from providers who give workers enough time, training and a living wage, so they can provide better quality care for thousands of individuals who rely on it.
As an Ethical Care Council, Reading Borough Council pledges to commission care only from providers who will:
• Schedule visits so that homecare workers are not forced to rush their time with clients or leave their clients early to get to the next one on time
• Match the time allocated to visits to the particular needs of the client
• Allocate clients the same homecare worker(s) wherever possible
• Use contracts which are appropriate for individual homecare workers
• Pay the Living Wage
• Pay homecare workers for expenses such as their travel time and travel costs
Reading Borough Council Press Releases can be found online at http://beta.reading.gov.uk/article/1908/News–Press-Releases/