- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
The Welsh Government is in talks with Powys Council about the “continuity and quality” of care services, the First Minister has confirmed.
Labour Mid and West AM Joyce Watson questioned First Minster Carwyn Jones about the issue at the Senedd on Tuesday (2 June).
Mrs Watson said councils should commission care providers that “value and support” their staff; that is the surest way to guarantee a high quality service, she argued.
The First Minister responded:
“I entirely agree with what the Member has said in terms of delivery of services to the public.
“The Minister has had two meetings with the council over the last few months to discuss the handling of and to seek assurance about the continuity and quality of domiciliary care services. Officials have been receiving weekly updates from the director of social services in Powys and the inspectorate, and they have been monitoring the situation.”
In April 2014, Alpha Home Care was one of four companies awarded a contract to provide home care to vulnerable people in Powys. A year later, following critical reports from Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), the council axed the firm.
A recent study* in England found that 60% of care workers were on zero-hour contracts and around a third earned less than the minimum wage because they were not paid for travelling time.
Mrs Watson added:
“Under the previous contract, constituents reported to me serious problems: carers arriving up to two hours late and 12 different carers attending a client in one week. I was also concerned to learn that staff said they were afraid to voice concerns or even take sick leave.
“After the mess with Alpha Home Care, Powys Council must ensure it commissions providers who value and support their staff and thereby meet high standards of care.”