Lincolnshire County Council has hit back at fears about the standard of home care services and insisted proposed changes will be for the better.
Colin Mair, the UKIP leader on the County Council, raised a number of issues in an interview in the Spalding Guardian last week.
Coun Mair said lives were being put at risk and described the situation as a “national scandal”.
It has also emerged the county council has written to 3,500 people who rely on home care, outlining possible changes to the current system.
At present, the council sub-contracts the service to around 70 providers.
However, the council is planning to divide Lincolnshire into 12 zones and award a contact to one ‘major provider’ in each zone.
However, those major providers would be able to sub-contract work to smaller companies.
That has re-ignited fears about the overall standard of care provided – and how the myriad of companies will be monitored.
Coun Mair said he still had genuine concerns about the council’s proposals.
He believes already under-pressure care workers won’t receive the minimum wage because they will only be paid for the time they spend with patients – and not for travelling to appointments.
Patricia Bradwell, executive councillor for adult care and services at the council, disputed many of Coun Mair’s claims.
She did admit the service was “stretched” in rural areas and was also under strain because of the on-going beds’ crisis in hospitals.
Coun Bradwell stressed the council was increasing spending on home care and insisted the proposed changes would lead to a better system.
The council already spends £135m a year on adult home care although there are reports that could rise to £200m in a few years, because of the county’s aging population.