Author Topic: "With Mallinson a fore-thought" - Half-Truths Exposed As Domiciliary Care Team Faces Axe  (Read 78202 times)

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Offline bobwright

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I have received information from a very reliable source that shows the publicly released information is incomplete and if true shows a very different picture.

In the private market place if a management team had sat on top of a £45 an hour cost for ‘Care’ they would have been sacked and replaced with a team who knew what they were doing. The current Administration complained and complained that the Labour Government was not providing enough money to support services. Now we know why, the Administration was creating exceptional costs for the quality of service patients needed. Whilst they still brag about how good the Councils care workers are they have been quietly suffocating this quality organisation under the weight of bureaucracy. How many other areas of control are they doing this too?

Now at a time when a scalpel is required they are using an axe. A root and branch investigation is required. In essence 32 full time equivalent visiting care staff is supported by 57 posts in management and administration. Yes you are reading this right a 2 to 1 top heavy service. So what is the Tory solution, get rid of the “Front Line” workers. I don’t think there are any good lessons to be learnt about efficiency from this Tory Administration except once you have screwed it up pass the issue on to the private market place. Efficiency can be corrupted by managing demand and there is good evidence that work has not been given to the councils own care workers. I have been passed a document that shows that only 6 referrals have been commissioned between January 1st and February 2nd.

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I think you've hit the nail bang on the head Bob.

Look at the annual reports fron SBC. If you look at the growth in people earning £50K+ since the Tories took over the council, you'll prove your point.

If we were to return the management costs of the Council to 2004 levels then we wouldn't be having any cuts.

Offline Geoff Reid

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I have received information from a very reliable source that shows the publicly released information is incomplete and if true shows a very different picture.

In the private market place if a management team had sat on top of a £45 an hour cost for ‘Care’ they would have been sacked and replaced with a team who knew what they were doing. The current Administration complained and complained that the Labour Government was not providing enough money to support services. Now we know why, the Administration was creating exceptional costs for the quality of service patients needed. Whilst they still brag about how good the Councils care workers are they have been quietly suffocating this quality organisation under the weight of bureaucracy. How many other areas of control are they doing this too?

Now at a time when a scalpel is required they are using an axe. A root and branch investigation is required. In essence 32 full time equivalent visiting care staff is supported by 57 posts in management and administration. Yes you are reading this right a 2 to 1 top heavy service. So what is the Tory solution, get rid of the “Front Line” workers. I don’t think there are any good lessons to be learnt about efficiency from this Tory Administration except once you have screwed it up pass the issue on to the private market place. Efficiency can be corrupted by managing demand and there is good evidence that work has not been given to the councils own care workers. I have been passed a document that shows that only 6 referrals have been commissioned between January 1st and February 2nd.


Give me 10 minutes....  :wink:


Offline Geoff Reid

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*** Bear with me for the next 10 minutes, content may need to be adjusted


More documents may need to be added at post #1 - if this happens regular updates will appear throughout the topic.




Review of in-house Homecare Team Business Support Arrangements Final Report

Author: Tanya Hatcher-Jukes, Business Change Officer, HR&Change

Date: 2Sth June 2010


Click here for PDF version



           
           





A spreadsheet page prepared from Data recorded in September 2010

PDF version available by clicking here







Leader of the Council Briefing Note: In house domiciliary care

Date Issued: 12th February 2011

PDF version available by clicking here

 

Offline Stretch Armstrong

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I know this thread appears to now be discussing issues around unions so I gave this some thought before posting not a lot but some.

Bob, it's an intrinsic part of everyone's job to go through appraisals, training and cost-effectiveness assessment. They are aspects of the job that apply to everyone.

That's very, very different to attending diversity awareness meetings put on by the union, or attending union meetings to discuss union business. And, let's not forget, not all staff members will have chosen to join the union - as it's not essential to them performing their roles properly.


Organised labour and employee relations are always welcomed by good employers the first factory acts were 1835 and there are many studies carried out of workplace behaviour. Joining an organised labour body/organisation/works council is a choice and a good employer accepts their part of the barggain and duty of care.

If a road death costs 1.6 million http://www.brake.org.uk/government-must-act-to-tackle-preventable-road-deaths-and-injuries-which-cost-uk-economy-p33-billion-last-year or 33 billion a year how much does employee deaths and injuries and poor or inapropriate working practice cost? What are the hidden costs? Searching family records I found the cost out in personal injury and deaths of the coal mining industry, railway industry, canal industry seafaring all cost my family at that time dear. The deaths are tragic in themselves, all this is recorded due to legislation passed in the 1830-50s did we learn from it? I hope we did. I have had colleagues seriously injured and killed/died of other means in the work place that is why as an employee and employer I have always worked with workers reps and employers and a lot of that was in my own time, and I have never begrudged it.

I was only saying to my son last night that as a child I grew up in the industrial northwest and I used to see old men dressed up in ill fitting suits bent over almost double coughing up and finding it difficult to breathe, with blue marks, buttons down the back and scars on them gained from a life of hard graft. Missing fingers  like my own grandfather, and some of them (far too many) had lost their sight or had it badly damaged in one or both eyes, or had hearing loss. They would say to me in this age of the white heat of technology the world will get better, be richer, be healthier be better educated, with better pensions. You will never have to endure what we did; work all our lives, pay out for everything and get nothing  back in return. That looks like that is about to return as people will work longer, pay more and get very little for it!


whilst I don't want to take the thread off topic, I struggle to see how your examples relate to union membership today?

Employee welfare is paramount, the lack of it is costly for all concerned.
hence there are duty of care obligations placed on organisations.

if an organisation with a high ratio of union members, with a relatively high cost overhead for allowing them to attend union meetings, becomes uncompetitive in terms of costs, then it's understandable that when costs must be cut, they will be at risk?

although I cannot see how care services can be delivered for £15 an hour..

Offline Stretch Armstrong

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Now at a time when a scalpel is required they are using an axe. A root and branch investigation is required. In essence 32 full time equivalent visiting care staff is supported by 57 posts in management and administration. Yes you are reading this right a 2 to 1 top heavy service. So what is the Tory solution, get rid of the “Front Line” workers. I don’t think there are any good lessons to be learnt about efficiency from this Tory Administration except once you have screwed it up pass the issue on to the private market place. Efficiency can be corrupted by managing demand and there is good evidence that work has not been given to the councils own care workers. I have been passed a document that shows that only 6 referrals have been commissioned between January 1st and February 2nd.

sounds intriguing.
so, the tory administration are getting rid of the 32 frontline staff, and keeping the 57 mgmt staff?
surely that's a bad thing to do.
and surely the 57 staff costs would be added to the £15 an hour?

... what will the 57 heads be doing that the sub-contractor's mgmt wont be doing?

Offline Geoff Reid

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I'm no expert at finances, but even I can see some of the figures used appear to make little sense and do not support the claims made for them.

Shouldn't there now be a complete disclosure of the real data from 2008 to date, and a special meeting of the council called to discuss the real picture?

Offline Geoff Reid

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Spread sheet, Leaders Briefing note & final report done by Tanya Hatcher-Jukes, (SBC Business Change Officer) are available in this new thread: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=7219.msg54878#msg54878

Offline Geoff Reid

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This statement was handed to me by a Unison member recently.



Quote
Statement From Ann-Marie Black UNISON Steward I Home
Care Worker.

UNISON wishes to respond to the article printed on Monday 28th February 2011 in the Evening Advertiser.

Councillor Mallinson talks about giving members of the public the facts , however we believe the members of the public are entitled to the truth.

A council management consultation took place in November 2009. The aim was to restructure the home care department to enable the Council to run the service more efficiently and cost effectively.

The model the council choose to follow was "The Banbury ReEnablement Service" (working with people over a short period of time after falls/strokes etc to get the service users to do as much for themselves so they didn't become dependant on long - term care). 

To date no re- enablement work has been given to the department.  Instead the work was tendered out into the "New Social Enterprise".

Re-enablement posts were advertised to home care workers in June/July 2010 for 22 hours per week. However the council advertised the posts at an incorrect grade and hours; which was a barrier for predominately 30-37 hour workers to apply , as they could not afford a massive cut in pay and hours.  Despite this, 9 care staff did apply for the posts, as they feared the in-house contract would end on 31st March 2011. Staff were then given 3D-hour posts on appointment instead of the advertised 22 hours, again grossly unfair treatment.

This meant the service was reduced by 9 staff and another 4 post holders who where retired on the grounds of age. None of these staff were replaced , yet the contracted hours were not reduced to reflect this.

Instead of Councillor Mallinson trying to persuade the electorate into believing that the workforce was not pulling its weight, we suggest as a Councillor he should be tackling the anagement
that allowed this situation to happen which has been a complete waste of tax payers money, for which Councillor Mallinson is ultimately responsible for.

Councillor Mallinson states that no workers should fear for their jobs, however some staff have been offered part-time posts that again will equate to a huge drop in income, or multiple 9 hour posts that back to back and do not give the required rest time and do not meet the working time directive. This is a double whammy in reducing costs as it will leave some members in poverty which the state will have to pick up, so not much efficiency in the long term, just more people on the dole or claiming benefits to supplement their income.

The care workers are not responsible for this so called "poor productivity" but the Council is responsible for wasting taxpayer's money and making poor decisions. From 1st January - 2nd February, the commissioners have only requested six referrals to the team . So how can we deliver a service of 1800 hours per week, if we are not given the work?

Councillor Mallinson states the service costs £45 per hour, when in fact the true cost is £37 per hour. He goes on to say that the private sector will deliver the same quality service at £15 per hour.  If he took the time to read the Starfish report, it clearly states no homecare service can be delivered with quality or meet standards for less than £25 per hour and the reasons the private sector providers will deliver for the cost of £15 per hour include:

• The frontline carer's will have their wages cut and mileage allowance reduced.

• They do not allow for travel time between service users; which can equate to 3hours and more per day , resulting in the time taken from the service user.

• No pension costs (although it should be noted that the average local government homecare worker will only get an annual pension of £3,000 - £4,000 per annum - hardly gold plated).

• They do not invest in their staff (the turnover of staff in the private sector is huge as workers can't stick the terms and conditions)

• Very few private sector providers offer sick pay (this leads to staff working whilst sick and infecting sick and vulnerable service users even further).
 
• When jobs are cancelled due to service users going into hospital for example, the care worker does not get paid.  Again, I will state this is not the fault of the care workers themselves this is due to the terms and conditions that they have to work under from the private sector companies to enable them to make a profit.

As UNISON presented in a supplementary question to full council on 17th February 2011:


"Please could you tell us why the Council will not work with the Trade Union and our members to provide a more efficient and
cost effective service; which will not impact on quality or vulnerable people and will not result in the out sourcing of the In house
home care service.

We are loyal dedicated staff who care for and care about the people who use our services. We are frontline workers who
deliver this vital service and are very surprised that we have never been asked for ideas. We have many of them but have never
been listened to before".

And, Councillor Mallinson what we do in our own time is tell the public what the Council do not want them to know.



   


Readers may wish to read this Adver article: Disgusted at service cuts which will help to place this statement in context.




Offline Geoff Reid

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Does this tosser accept the right of trades unions to have their legal right to time off for trade union duties or does he think the Council should break the law?

'Time off' is one thing, and something that's reasonable (assuming they're actually around to do their job now and again).

However, the idea that the taxpayer is paying for 1.5 months worth of 'time off' at a rate of £45p/h out of a 6 month period is, surely, wholly unacceptable.

If people want to be in unions, and unions are allowed to charge them for that decision, then the unions should be funding union members who are on union business. How on earth might that be considered unfair in any way?


According to the 'final report' dated the 25th June 2010 which was authored by Tanya Hatcher-Jukes, (SBC Business Change Officer)


Quote
Care Assistants claim money to attend these meetings on their days off. Since January 2010 365 hours have been taken up within Union meetings or Union training. Costing approx £2922.00, this is based on basic hours and does not include if over- time was paid due to a day off.

This works out at an hourly rate of £8.00, not the £45 per hour figure Cllr Mallinson is apparently peddling about.

Offline Martin Wicks

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Just seen the Bogomil comment:

"Now that’s not quite true Martin is it …. 
No wonder trade unionists get the reputation of twisting the truth.  ;D

A trade union official is entitled to “REASONABLE TIME OFF WITHOUT PAY”

What is reasonable is up to the employer and Union to negotiate BUT there is NO automatic right in LAW… so if one of your GMB or Unison Officials were refused for a valid reason then the council would NOT be breaking the law.

Maybe you need to read up a bit more Martin 

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/TradeUnions/Tradeunionsintheworkplace/DG_10027556"

Well I would bow to your knowledge Bogomil if you were right. But on the basis of nearly 40 years experience as a rep, I think you are talking out of your arse.

If you are carrying out a role as a workplace rep (shop steward or health & safety rep, for instance) you get time off with pay to carry out your duties. That could be dealing with individual cases, representing somebody in a disciplinary meeting, negotiating with management over changes in terms and conditions, doing a health & safety inspection, attending a H&S meeting etc. You have a legal right to time off with pay.

If you attend a shop stewards course, or a health & safety reps course YOU GET TIME OFF WITH PAY. You have a legal right to such time for training (e.g. reps stage 1 TUC course, H&S TUC course, stage 1).

If you attend a union meeting which does not relate to your workplace duties (say a UNISON Regional Council meeting) then you can get time off without pay, and the union would pay you a day's wages.


Offline moley

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Martin,

Some of the duties you indicate I don't think are coupled with being a union rep (e.g. my employer is not unionised, but due to company size there is an elected employee consultation forum and I think people have paid time to be involved in that). Similar for H+S reps...

I think that all employers over a certain size have some statutory obligations for employee engagement (introduced by the last government) and linking this to union activities may be a red herring (as the same obligations would exist even if nobody was in a union).

Cheers

Moley

Offline bobwright

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If you start from a framework of disconnection then you can never produce a whole cost effective operation. Each person in an organisation is connected by activity. This relationship improves  through understanding of the other and how each affects the others work. It can not improve by just being critical of the means the operation has adopted to build relationships and deliver understanding. One efficiency is to find a better way to build relationships and understanding in less operational time. I have found the best way of doing this is by having mutual respect and forming good trusting relationships. Not to involve 'Front Line Staff' in discussions on activity affecting their service would be ludicrous unless of course it is management by dictatorship.

I think the clue to the problem of high operational cost can be found in the use of 'Front Line Staff' labelling, those who deliver a direct service to the actual customer. However this focus tends exclude the vital and important role of operational support and management. With good relationships and understanding the background operation does not need to be large or over expensive. It is also amazing how sickness/absence can be improved by good management practise.

I have fought for years to break up the notion of 'us and them', it is clear there a beneficial relationship between all roles. I have equal respect for any position in an organisation, the problems stem from the nature and characteristics of those who hold the positions. Crucially with the right attitude and understanding at the senior levels of an organisation the additonal value that each individual can provide will be volunteered. Conversely if you treat staff with disrespect, label them and create an atmosphere of fear through the threat of redundancy relationships will break down and sickness will increase.

I was taught that all problems in the workplace are management problems. Through experience I have found those words to be true. To allow an organisation to slip into the current situation is a failure of management; not on a personal level for I am sure people have been working hard, it has been a failure to move away from old concepts that have produced the chronic nature that underpins the manifest results. I constantly hear the old industrial espousal of managing out problems when it needs a leadership solution that inspires the change required. I would humbly suggest the disconnection between politicians, management and front line deliverers has led to this situation. I am still struggling to understand how politicians will tell the world how proud they are of themselves for delivering acknowledged quality service delivery whilst allowing the costs to go through the roof.

Offline Richard Symonds

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The thing about this whole business that troubles me is that we are dealing with the care of the elderly and infirm many of whom have no one to speak up for them and look out for them.

Apart from the fact that Councillor Mallinson will always have the means to look after himself and his wife in their old age, he is 76, I do not know how he is in any way qualified to make decisions on this very complex subject with onlya few months of experience?  As a politician he does not have to deal with the consequences of his actions and having done his worst he will probably be history at the May elections anyway.  He has consistently failed to give the type of detailed assurances, backed by facts, that we all seek that by moving this care to the private sector that all the basic levels of care are maintained.  Once we lose these people we will never go back to our own staff, we will just move it to another private provider a per pro Council tax etc.

The devil is in the detail and Councillor Mallinson has consistently failed to show us how he intends to maintain the quality of the service required.  This subject is far too delicate and complicated to be entrusted to someone who appears to have given the subject scant consideration and who will never have to account for his actions.  We will sadly rue the day this man was ever given this responsibility but will be an additional reason why the Tory vote is about to implode.  Someone reminded me that Councillor Mallinson had a similar effect on the Labour Party when he was one of their number.

and one final point when considering whether to vote or otherwise in May We get the Representation we deserve, Not Interested is not an option.
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline bobwright

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It appears there was an error in the data interpretation I posted previously and the figures concern cost centres rather than actual people. Still waiting to get the data, currently the pages do not open on the soft copy. However it still appears the relationship is the same it is just not people, it concerns costs.

I worked for one organisation where the Managing Director was emloyed for one reason only, he could get rid of unecessary costs. Inevitably he did this by getting rid of buildings and stripping down assets. We all had to suffer through relocating and working with other organisations in the same areas. It was a bit of a squeeze at times however at a stroke he used to get dramitic improvements on the bottom line. Job Agencies have already done this, having little more than an office with two organising staff and a manager. They rely heavily on temporary staff who are driven to be employed or simply must have the money.
In some areas this can provide an effective solution to some work requirements however it is an impersonal method as there is no lasting connection with the work or source of work.

In Care work the work requires care, attention and sustainable relationships to provide the best benefits. If the new Social Enterprise model does not support continued relationships something of very real value and health benefit will be lost. My main concerns have been and still are that there will be an expectancy of meeting the £15 per hour Care Supply and cover. I was not convinced that enough time had been given to achieve this and something would have to give. Previous statements about giving too much of a service also concerned me as I thought care service was based on professional assessment. Probably the biggest sting in the tail is that Care supply in the home is based on traffic movements. With increasing fuel charges and the rush to get people back to their homes we end up increasing traffic movements and increased costs for fuel. This might be cheaper than using a specialist building and staff however this might change in the near future if fuel continues to rise dramatically and buildings continue to remain empty








Offline Stretch Armstrong

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interesting stuff.

so, the 57 mgmt staff are being kept, Bob?

Offline Geoff Reid

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The Companies commissioned by SBC to operate the domiciliary Homecare Service in Swindon have been named as:

First City Ltd

Allied Healthcare ltd

Sanctuary Healthcare Ltd

Cleevelink Ltd



Click here for pdf file

Unison contest Swindon Borough Council's claim that all four of the new care providers have been rated as 'excellent' and reports from the Care Quality Commission, (as supplied to me) appear to support their claim.

Based on the reports I have only one of the new providers, (First City Ltd), is rated as 'excellent' and the remaining three suppliers rated as only 2 Star.  For comparison, the Care Quality Commission rated Swindon Borough Council's own Domiciliary Home care Team as 3 Star - Excellent

The Care Quality Commission also noted that a high level of 'overseas staff' were/are employed by Cleevelink and made note that 'there must be clear records on file detailing their career history and experience'.

The Care Quality Commission stopped awarding quality ratings under the Care Standards Act in July 2010 . The Commission will now only investigate when things go wrong.


Rod Bluh claimed in his regular column at Swindon Advertiser, that:

Quote from: Rod Bluh
"We even had alternative employment offers for the affected staff'


Unison describe Cllr Bluh's comment as 'wildly inaccurate' and point out that the offered posts are part-time and multiple posts. The Borough Council Scrutiny Committee had been informed that offers had been made of 25-hour posts.  Unison state that this is not the case.

I imagine that tonight's special council meeting will be quite interesting as 59 councillors are asked to consider that they may have been deliberately misled into supporting a decision to sack the domiciliary home care team whilst being denied the opportunity to consider the proposal whilst being in possession of all the necessary information.


I think the Unison report is worth reading and comparing against the recent media reports and claims made by Rod Bluh and Peter Mallinson.



Unison has commissioned the following report which it will submit at tonight's Special Meeting of Swindon Borough Council. It appears to contradict statements made by SBC and Peter Mallinson, (Cabinet member for Adult Services), on several points of concern.


Click here for pdf

   


   


   







 
Care Quality Commission Report on Cleevelink Ltd  2 Star

Click here for pdf

           




Care Quality Commission Report on Allied Healthcare  2 Star


Click here for pdf








Care Quality Commission Report on Sanctuary Homecare 2 Star

Click here for pdf







Care Quality Commission Report on First City Ltd Excellent

Click here for pdf







Care Quality Commission Report on Swindon Borough Council Homecare Team  3 Star Excellent

Click here for pdf





Offline 20Eyes

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The Care Quality Commission also noted that a high level of 'overseas staff' were/are employed by Cleevelink and made note that 'there must be clear records on file detailing their career history and experience'.

Interesting. Does this 'note' appear to relate to all Cleevelink employees, or just those from overseas? If it's the latter, I suspect it's illegal.
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~ Potter Stewart

Offline Geoff Reid

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Specifically, the note says:

Quote from: CQC
Recruitment processes have much improved since the last inspection although with the large number of overseas staff recruited there must be clear records on file detailing their career history and experience .

Staff induction, supervision and support appear to be improving.


I wonder if, since the CQC no longer routinely inspect and assess, CleeveLink might have slipped backwards from the lofty heights of 2 stars and staff induction, supervision, support are no longer improving.  The record keeping on overseas staff history and experience may well be, for all we know, virtually non existant.

Without a rigorous inspection regime we're left somewhat in the dark and, when supposedly responsible and 'in the know' Cll'rs like Bluh and Mallinson make allegedly inaccurate statements about the quality of companies they have themselves commissioned to provide the domiciliary home care service to Swindon residents, it's bound to make people wonder if they simply don't have a clue, don't care, are trying to hide something or rush this through before any cogent scrutiny has taken place.

If Bluh thinks the Borough can afford to write off a £610,000 debt to his friends at the Highworth Recreation Centre, and forget about a £400,000 unpaid loan to his friend Rikki, then I'm sure we see our way to keeping the SBC domicilliary homecare team in post until this has been looked at properly by genuine experts.

I worry that this is being forced through too quickly by a spiteful Septuagenarian who thinks he's already lost his council seat and the clown who has piloted the Borough into a £63,000,000 debt because he want's to play 'Bluh the builder' at Wichelstowe.

This feels very shoddy to me.

Offline Bogomil

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Clearly there are many many more questions that need answering