July 23 2014 Latest news:
Duncan Brodie, business editor
Friday, June 27, 2014
Homecare contracts operated by Essex-based Care UK in part of Norfolk are to be terminated early following a recurrence of delivery issues.
Care UK, which is based in Colchester, and Norfolk County Council have agreed for the contracts, which involve services for more than 200 people in the Broadland area, to be re-let.
The council said in a statement that the decision followed “a re-emergence of some of the organisational problems that occurred in 2013 after Care UK took over two contracts in Broadland”.
“In recent weeks, there have been a number of missed homecare visits and the company has struggled to deliver the service in the Broadland area to a standard that either the council or Care UK are satisfied with,” it added.
“This has led to both parties agreeing that the county council’s contracts with the company in the Broadland area should be terminated by mutual consent.”
Sue Whitaker, chair of the adult social care committee on Norfolk County Council, said: “We have been monitoring things very closely and have taken quick action which I firmly believe is in everyone’s best interests.”
She added: “This is absolutely no criticism of the front line staff who have on the whole provided brilliant care, day in, day out and I very much hope they will continue to do that in the future, albeit under different management.”
Donna Cousins, director of quality and governance for Care UK Community Services, said: “We apologise to people who have experienced difficulties with their service over recent weeks.
“Relinquishing the Broadlands area will allow us to focus our attention on delivering a high quality of care to the people in the other areas of Norfolk that we will continue to be responsible for.”
Care UK will continue to operate homecare contracts in the Great Yarmouth and North Norfolk areas, which predate the Broadland contract.
The county council expects to appoint replacement providers for the Broadland contracts during July, with the handover of services being carefully managed jointly over the following weeks.
The council said it would receive compensation from Care UK for the extra expenses it incurs, in keeping with the terms of the contract, and there would be no financial impact on Council Tax payers.