Adult homecare is in ‘meltdown’, claims Spalding couple

Anne Hirel (front) with Marlene and David Bonser, all of Spalding, who have slammed as "shambolic" a mix-up over adult care services run by Lincolnshire County Council.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Anne Hirel (front) with Marlene and David Bonser, all of Spalding, who have slammed as "shambolic" a mix-up over adult care services run by Lincolnshire County Council. Photo by Tim Wilson.

“Disgusting, disrespectful and diabolical” – just some of the views of families left “stranded” by a change to adult care services in Lincolnshire.

One Spalding couple claimed to have waited 30 hours for their 90-year-old mum Anne Hirel to be taken to a care home in Long Sutton after finding out on Thursday that the company which had previously been her care provider had severed its contract with Lincolnshire County Council.

Marlene and David Bonser of Chestnut Avenue branded as “shambolic” the council’s handling of adult care services which saw the contract for South Holland handed over to Atlas Care Services of Peterborough.

Mrs Bonser said: “David and I have been caring for my mum since she came out of hospital in January, as well as carers from Wellbeing Residential Group whose staff have been absolutely brilliant.

“But then Wellbeing let us know on Thursday that it had given Lincolnshire County Council 28 days’ notice of its decision to stop providing care for my mum, which ended on July 16.

“Luckily for us, Mum’s carers turned up on Friday and volunteered to help.

It’s just shambolic and absolutely disgusting that this has happened with a big organisation like Lincolnshire County Council.

Marlene and David Bonser, Spalding

“But we were then left stranded for 30 hours waiting for specialist transport to take Mum to a care home because she can’t walk.

“It’s just shambolic and absolutely disgusting that this has happened with a big organisation like the council.

“It’s as if the council’s care for adults is in meltdown”

Julie Flowers (51) of Oakley Drive, Spalding, was also moved to a care home in Long Sutton after finding out on Thursday that Wellbeing’s homecare contract had ended.

Mrs Flowers’ daughter, Emma Wilson of Pennygate, Spalding, said: “Mum has multiple sclerosis and she returned home three months ago after having to spend time at a nursing home in Wyberton.

“She is wheelchair-bound so we had to make alterations to the house.

“But on Thursday, Mum had a phone call saying there were no care arrangements on Friday because Wellbeing had terminated its contract, having given 28 days’ notice.

“So the council came up with the solution of bundling Mum into a taxi and sending her off to a care home in Long Sutton.

“They treated her like cattle and it was absolutely diabolical.”

Glen Garrod, director of adult social services in Lincolnshire, said: “We know his is a challenging time for some people and we are sorry for any distress caused by changes to their care provider.

“The council has recently awarded contracts for a new model of home care in Lincolnshire and during this change of contracts, our priority is to keep disruption to a minimum for people who receive care at home.

“We are working closely with people and their families to make sure their needs are met until the new provider can begin delivering care.

“Wherever we can, we will make sure people can continue being cared for at home but if this is not possible, we will offer a temporary period of respite care to make sure the person’s needs are met.

“We have asked all current and incoming providers to work closely with us to make this transition as smooth as possible for people receiving care.

“Some current providers have chosen to give notice to end the package of care for some people and, where possible, new providers are stepping in earlier than their contract start date to provide the necessary care.

“This means that most of the 3,500 people that we support with home care are continuing to get the care they need at home.”

New home care contracts agreed for South Holland and Lincolnshire