Offensive

I find the comments made by Gerald Hunt, and reported in the Clevedon Times very, very offensive and detrimental, not only to the local care agencies but to the care industry

I find the comments made by Gerald Hunt, and reported in the Clevedon Times very, very offensive and detrimental, not only to the local care agencies but to the care industry as a whole. * Mr Hunt's comment 'but care staff are not normally paid much more than the minimum wage'. Not only is this remark offensive but it is inaccurate. We pay our carers considerably more than the minimum wage and offer the chance of a long-term rewarding career in a recognised professional industry and his reported remarks that care staff are not normally paid much more than the minimum wage is no incentive to anybody wishing to join the care industry. * I would like to remind Mr Hunt that the domiciliary care industry works 365 days a year at all hours of the day and night in all sorts of weather caring for sick, frail, old and vulnerable people in our community and we deserve a bit more respect and support from the assistant director for adult social services. * The reported comment that the client certification sheets which were signed by the client 'was subject to lots of abuse' was insensitive and the inference that all carers were abusing the system should be withdrawn immediately.* Many of my colleagues spend hundreds of pounds on recruitment advertising to fill a local need for carers and Mr Hunt's comments show our industry in a very bad light whereas nothing could be further from the truth and he should be more attuned to the local pressures on local care businesses which affect the quality and quantity of care delivered to local people.* The council still purchases care in blocks of 30 minutes from outside providers and has now imposed a situation on providers that if a professional, experienced carer finishes that work in 24 minutes then that is all the council pays for. Where is the incentive for recruitment, let alone the retention of experienced staff?* The recent increase of 2.75 per cent from the council does not even cover the cost in the rise of fuel let alone the increase in holidays from 20 to 24 days (which is Government legislation), so how does Mr Hunt expect us to fund the increase in costs associated with providing care for vulnerable service users?* The premium rate of an extra 2.5 per cent suggested by Mr Hunt to be passed on to staff would not even cover the cost of the fuel needed to reach these rural areas.* ESM monitoring only accounts for the time between logging in and out and not for the actual time spent at the client's home.Our priority is client safety and care and when we visit a client at home our first concern is their safety so we always check on the client before we log in. It is possible to be at a client's house for a few minutes before we use the telephone to log in and start getting paid.I am sure none of us want to get to the situation where our carers' main concerns are logging in and not clients' welfare. * The payment of care on a minute by minute basis has been rejected by the majority of all councils in the UK.I believe it is time for Mr Hunt to step down from his position where he assumes the chair of the providers forum as he has almost certainly lost any credibility with care providers with his insensitive comments about our industry.In whole, the article reflects the complete lack of understanding Mr Hunt has about domiciliary care in North Somerset and his disrespect for local care agencies and the knock-on effect to vulnerable people and perhaps he should consider his position within the council. Alistair Milton - Managing director of Poppy's Homecare Ltd, Bleadon, Weston


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