Author Topic: "With Mallinson a fore-thought" - Half-Truths Exposed As Domiciliary Care Team Faces Axe  (Read 91884 times)

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Offline Richard Symonds

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A letter in the Adver this morning from Bob FM

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/yoursay/swindonletters/8958250.Letter_from_Robert_Feal_Martinez/

Letter from Robert Feal-Martinez
8:40am Friday 8th April 2011

TO say I was stunned by Coun Mallinson's attack on the council care workers is frankly an understatement (SA, letters April 4).

Having seen the council commissioned report of the service, it is clear that very many of the failings are indeed the mismanagement of the service, rather than the care workers themselves.

If he is correct in his assessment of hours actually worked etc, then who else is to blame other than supervisors and above. As an employer you schedule your employees hours and only pay them if they actually work them.

The report seems to indicate a complete lack of integrated management.

Perhaps Coun Mallinson and his fellow Tory councillors should have read their own report more carefully where it outlined very clearly that the cuts could be made in the management team, and thus improve efficiency. I did not note any suggestion from the report’s author of the need to transfer the services out of council control.

What is also concerning is that the council appears to have contracted out this service to four companies none of which has achieved the level of rating by the Care Commission that its own in-house team, did, 3 Star Excellent.

Coun Mallinson accuses members of the council opposition of playing politics, and others of lying. I would suggest Coun Mallinson and his colleagues are playing Russian roulette with the lives of the elderly and vulnerable. A far worse 'crime' than playing politics.

ROBERT FEAL-MARTINEZ South Marston Swindon

All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Ringer, you quote about the town being voted one of the 10 worst run councils, was that after or before the labour government took control of the education department of the council away from them and gave it to a team from the Kent council to run, because of the rubbbish way it was being run and do you remember when Nick Martin tried to publish the education report, chaps like Mr Montaut did their best to get it binned, and when it is reported the council tax went up by £607, was there published, a reason for the increase?, and was that increase just a local thing or did councils up and down the country, face the same rises, and when did the conservatives offically take over the council in the present run in?.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 10:33:04 PM by kohima »

Offline Ringer

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Kohima

For once please back up what you say. Bring forward the facts, I ask this as I  remember you were wrong on the Tesco 106 monies and wrong on where the Brunel monies went.

when did the conservatives offically take over the council in the present run in?.


Mike Bawden was council leader in December 2003 as posted earlier here is the http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/3313261.stm that means they would have set the council tax in 2003/04.  Here is a report that gives details of 2005/06 budget now bear in mind READ FIRST PARA TOP OF PAGE 2 CAREFULLY  it says 42.5% over the last 3 years which would be 02/03, 03/04, 04/05. The years 03/04 & 04/05 according to the BBC link would be Tory years.  Anyway Kohima feel free to prove me wrong with evidence, not your opinion that of those 3 years the Tories were responsible for 32% of that increase. Here is the link http://www.swindon.gov.uk/textV2/finance.pdf



« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 11:47:45 PM by Ringer »
To qualify for inclusion there is only one rule - something described must have been said to have happened. `If the facts don`t fit the legend, print

Offline Geoff Reid

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it is reported the council tax went up by £607,

Don't you mean "Went up to £607" ?

Ringer's right, give us the facts and proper context please  :)

Offline Terry Reynolds

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ref the tesco monies, I said that they had to pay money for the permision to have the so called extension built (which turned out to be a car park), this money was to improve the shops facias in gorsehill, they did give £30,000, for this, but as stated in the FOI, it also had a caveat, which said that the money couldnt be used to the detriment of the tesco shop, so the money was given to St Marks Rec and used there to improve the facilities, so how was that wrong.  the one about the brunel shopping centre, i have never been able to get a copy of the adver which showed the donation from the government or how it was spent, but that is that, what else did you say, I asked when the conservatives took over the council, is that a wrong question or what. If you doubt what I said about the education dept, then ring Nick Martin and ask him or ask some of the labour councillors on here and ask them to confirm.

Offline Terry Reynolds

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the reason for the question about when they took over is to clarify when the tax went up, as on the 5 Oct 04 I was paying £112 a month, on the 29|3|05 I was paying £116.05 and on the 27 Jan 11, I was paying £138.

Offline Mart

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Renard, sounds French?  Nuff said.

Once again we have a debate on local politics that is all about who scores highest on the twatometer.

Let's face it, any catastrophic sack of shoite that an incoming authority inherits simply gets painted blue, or red, and trundles on.

Coun Mallinson accuses members of the council opposition of playing politics

Oh feckin really?  That is a shocker, I'd be interested to learn what else any of  the feckless toads get up to. It's all politics and as such completely unsuited to local government.

Do try and keep up.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Martin Wicks

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This is a letter to the Advertiser in response to Mr Mallinson's reply to a letter by myself.

Peter Mallinson – more questions than answers

Peter Mallinson’s irate response to a letter of mine in relation to Homecare raises more questions than he answers. In the first instance he gives us average hours worked based on 64 staff. Yet I believe 12 of these staff did not deliver Homecare themselves. Six of them were supervisors who carried out assessments and trained staff, five were admin staff, and one was a manager. Of the 52 left only 3 were full-time. The rest worked shifts of either 15, 22.5 or 30 hours a week.

Certainly 450 hours shared amongst 52 is not a lot. But Mr Mallinson does not explain when this figure related to or why it was so low. Of course, once it was clear they had lost the contract the amount of work was bound to decline.

In his various comments in the Adver Mr Mallinson gave the impression that this situation was the fault of the workers themselves. He said that instead of campaigning in defence of their jobs they should be trying to improve their ‘performance’ and ‘productivity’, as if they weren’t working hard enough. Of course they could only do the work their managers gave them. Indeed I know that the staff were asking for more work. Given the fact that when the contract was given they were contracted to work 1,800 hours a week, why were they given less and less work?

The work was handed out by Swindon Council staff. So perhaps Mr Mallinson can explain why Council staff were not giving work to the Council’s Homecare team which they were contracted to do. It is difficult to imagine any reason other than an effort to run down the service or the most extraordinary negligence on the part of the management.

Mr Mallinson says they were “too expensive” but when the Homecare team won the contract the Council knew what the price of the work was. So why would it have come as a surprise to him? If it was “too expensive” why did his Council give them the contract in the first place?

Another curious thing is this. If Mr Mallinson was to get his calculator out he would discover that 1,800 hours divided between 52 staff works out at an average of nearly 35 hours each. Given the fact that 49 of them were working part-time, with hours as few as 15 a week how could they cover 1,800 hours? I understand that these staff added up to 32 full-time equivalents. A full-time job was 37 hours. That adds up to 1140 hours. So how could they cover 1800?

In fact if you look at the Quality Care Commission report of 2009 (the one that rated the service excellent) you will see that it says that the department “deploys approximately 100 community support workers organised into 9
 teams”.
 There is no detail given as to how many carried out the home visits but it seems a fair bet that 52 is a lot less than were originally in place. I am told that over that period the Council did not replace the jobs of people who left. However, it is no wonder that the amount of work they did declined with such a drop in staff numbers.

Mr Mallinson writes as if all the work that is done is the same, regardless of who delivers it. It’s my understanding, however, that the Council’s Homecare staff did more complicated work than the private agencies do. They tended to deal with the cases of greater handicap and greater need, work that private companies would not want to do, since it would eat into their profit margins. If this was the case then the cost would inevitably be higher.

One of the positive aspects of the work of the Homecare team was continuity of service. Their staff tended to provide the service to the same patients over a long time. That contrasts with the experience of a friend of mine, using a private agency, who has had 14 different staff visiting her over a couple of months. She has no complaints of the staff who do their best in difficult circumstances. But surely such a situation inevitably means that the quality of service will be less good.

One final thing. The criticism of those opposed to the transfer of the work is not of the people who work for the private companies. Indeed, they are victims of a system which places profit before the needs of the people they serve. They are an exploited workforce. Our criticism is of the companies they work for and the system which exploits them; the subordination of a public service to the profit motive.

Martin Wicks

Offline Geoff Reid

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Well put.

I understand Cllr Mallinson was instructed not to discuss how the £45 an hour figure was arrived at and not to discuss 'the detail' of how work was, or in fact was not, given to the domiciliary home care team.

I note that the SBC charges being put to a relative of mine who receives home care have more than doubled recently, to just under £1,000 per calendar month.  The SBC homecare team gets the axe to save money but at least one elderly and vulnerable person I know of is now being charged twice what they used to pay by SBC for what seems to be a shrinking service.


Offline Richard Symonds

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A very well constructed letter Martin, but one question has yet to be answered and that is

What Safeguards has Councillor Mallinson put in place to ensure the Required Level of Service is Provided Day in Day Out and What Safety Net is being Provided to Deal with anything that goes Wrong?

You will recall Martin that recent failures were in fact covered by extraording action by the HomeCare Team, and now it no longer exists.

Furthermore, how is the Level of Service against these Contracts being monitored and by what criteria?

Again more questions than answers and this situation really worries me.
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Offline Drone

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A very well constructed letter Martin, but one question has yet to be answered and that is

What Safeguards has Councillor Mallinson put in place to ensure the Required Level of Service is Provided Day in Day Out and What Safety Net is being Provided to Deal with anything that goes Wrong?

You will recall Martin that recent failures were in fact covered by extraording action by the HomeCare Team, and now it no longer exists.

Furthermore, how is the Level of Service against these Contracts being monitored and by what criteria?

Again more questions than answers and this situation really worries me.

There are lots of high level discussions about whether the council should provide a safety net and whether letting a few needy people fall through the net might help others work harder to be independent. The argument about encouraging responsibility by creating consequence is pretty heartless when it's applied to the elderly.
derp derp herp herp derp

Offline Richard Symonds

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I hope you are not saying that people have to die before anything changes Drone?
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Yes, I think people will die and blame for the deaths will, as usual, be passed onto the wrong people.

We can hear the beating black heart of compassionate Conservatism now.  It's getting closer and, instead of the familiar lump-lump, lump-lump sound of a human heart, this one sounds cold and mechanical - Mallin-Son, Mallin-Son.....

Conservative dogma insists that the existence of the welfare state creates a dependence upon it, therefore, if they shrink the welfare and/or severely restrict access to it, dependence upon it will drop accordingly.

This may well be true for a number of professional 'doley's' and 'lead swingers' but could prove catastrophic for those with profound and genuine need, most of whom who will have paid into the system via income tax and National Insurance contributions all their working lives.



"First they came for the sick, but I wasn't sick so I said nothing......"

Offline Drone

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I hope you are not saying that people have to die before anything changes Drone?

Not quite, but the council policy makers are definitely moving away from the idea of council as safety net. The idea is the council encourages people to live independently - but it could be a brutal process for those with a high level of need, such as the elderly, the severly disabled.

I agree with you entirely, Mr Reid. And the 'Doley's' don't even have any paid work to go into...
derp derp herp herp derp

Offline Terry Reynolds

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If I am wrong then I am , but according to a council FOI, the conservatives took overall majority of the council in May 2004, I was then paying £112 a month c tax, I am now paying £138.so you might guess the question is, just who was responsible for this 50% rise in c tax?.

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Thats a 23% rise compared to a 16% rise in the CPI

Offline Rochelle

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Geoff,
I also agree with you entirely. I wonder how many of our policy makers have found dead bodies at the end of their roads? (I have, twice, deaths were people who should have been cared for but weren't)
Held someone's hand whilst they died following an accident, waiting for the overstretched ambulance service to arrive? (Me again)
Been in a job where extremely vulnerable people had their already difficult lives damaged even further by cuts in funding and heartless new rules (You guessed it...)
Do you think any of them knew two women who were murdered by their ex partners whilst their children were in the house?
How about lived next door to convicted murderers, paedophiles, victims of serial abuse?
I could go on...
Nothing beats actual experience, some of these people need to step outside of their comfort zones and swap theories for real life.
Safety nets don't make people dependent, they save lives. To remove them is immoral.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Geoff,
I also agree with you entirely. I wonder how many of our policy makers have found dead bodies at the end of their roads? (I have, twice, deaths were people who should have been cared for but weren't)
Held someone's hand whilst they died following an accident, waiting for the overstretched ambulance service to arrive? (Me again)
Been in a job where extremely vulnerable people had their already difficult lives damaged even further by cuts in funding and heartless new rules (You guessed it...)
Do you think any of them knew two women who were murdered by their ex partners whilst their children were in the house?
How about lived next door to convicted murderers, paedophiles, victims of serial abuse?
I could go on...
Nothing beats actual experience, some of these people need to step outside of their comfort zones and swap theories for real life.
Safety nets don't make people dependent, they save lives. To remove them is immoral.

Well said Rochelle, but here in The Bramptons it is not likely to happen and if it did no one would notice, they are so wrapped up in their own lives.

When I was very ill with Pericarditis for some three months back in 2002 I had to fend for myself completely, no one (to quote that wonderful Swindon expression) was interested.

I have always said of my neighbours it would only be the smell that finally gulvanised them into action, after all it would affect the value of their properties.

Sorry feeling cynical bastard this afternoon, that said this Adult Care issue is very serious and must be watched very very carefully.

Still Peter Mallinson himself will not be interested after May 5th as he will no longer be a Councillor, assuming Labour get their vote out.  Only three weeks to go O0
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Something I'm actually grateful to Swindons conservatives for is having been given the chance to get to know a few of them well enough to recognise that most of them will, (figuratively speaking), cross the road and pass on the other side rather than stop and help someone in need.  Morally they justify themselves by adopting a 'needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few' approach, sticking their noses in the air and telling themselves that by ignoring individuals they actually care more about everybody else.

The, (admittedly quite few), labour members I'm getting to gradually know are very different in attitude and approach, which I could sum up as: 'Are you alright duck?, do you need help?' and ' the needs of the one are as important as the needs of the many'.

Eastcotts lib dems seems to weigh everything up and ask: 'What's in it for us?'



Offline Terry Reynolds

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Rochelle, when that lad down in the south of the land, went out that day and killed his entire family, do you think anybody knew them or the abuse they suffered.
When Fred West was running around and killing young girls, do you think anybody knew them and what they went through.
when many of the serial killers of the past decade did their thing, did anybody know their victims.
Did you know my two friends, who died this last January and February, both in and out of the GWHospital, and the troubles they went through.
You may quote case after case, and who was responsible, but I bet you can also quote many things that should have been done that werent,
for example how many times did drivers report the signals on the railtrack out of London got blurred in the sunlight, and then of course we had the rail crash that killed many.
how many knew of the london bombers and the route thye took that day from Luton and did nothing about it and who knew their victims and what they went through.
when that brazilian as murdered on the tube by the police, who knew his family and what they went through, after the whitewash report.