Super care homes plan ‘was flawed’

Super care homes plan ‘was flawed’

Super care homes plan ‘was flawed’

First published in News
Last updated

PLANS for new multimillion-pound super care homes in York were flawed and failed to make £600,000 of savings, a report has found.

Newly released reports by external auditors Mazars have sparked further concerns about City of York Council's adult social care services.

The auditors said £600,000 from the Elderly Persons’ Homes (EPH) programme to replace seven council care homes in York and build new homes on the former Lowfield and Burnholme school sites was miscalculated, but the council said the report does not refer to the current tender but a previous one.

The report states: “£600,000 of planned savings from EPHs were not delivered because of issues around building new units and assumptions were flawed. The original estimated savings were too ambitious and members made changes to the project. There was no effective challenge of the external expert’s assumptions. In addition savings were double counted."

The adult social care department is having to manage reduced budgets alongside an ageing population in need of services.

Last year there were 18 per cent more 65 to 69-year-olds and 14 per cent more over-90s than just two years before, Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones told the Audit and Governance Committee on Wednesday.

He said after the meeting: “The council is finalising an overall implementation plan for the modernisation and transformation of adult social care in the light of new legislative changes brought in by the Care Act which will ensure that services for some of our most vulnerable residents are fit for the future. The transformation, or ‘rewiring’ work will involve a significant programme of customer, partner and staff engagement to ensure that we are providing the services that people need.

"This is not about pedantically sticking to a specific number of beds, particular buildings or established models of delivery but about ensuring that we have high-quality provision that promotes and protects the well-being of all of our residents and meets the needs of the most vulnerable. This work may be taking a little longer than originally anticipated, however I am sure York residents understand that we must carefully balance the requirement to cater for future needs against the reality of the current financial climate in which we operate."

He said a more detailed action plan of how to address issues was expected in September.

Cllr Lynn Jeffries, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for social care, said: “This independent report confirms our worst fears about Labour’s handling of the [EPH] project...It is now clear that promised savings have not been delivered because Labour’s plans were flawed. The failure to make these savings is currently having a serious knock-on effect on the wider social care budget. "

Cllr Chris Steward, leader of the Conservative party, said: "It is rare for an audit report to be so damning, but it confirms our worries about the state of adult social care."

Linsay Cunningham-Cross, cabinet member for health, said: "We are committed to providing the best possible care for our most vulnerable residents in what remain extremely challenging times. We face unprecedented levels of funding cuts from the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government at a time of ever-increasing demand for adult social services. We need radical and ambitious actions to successfully address these challenges and that is what we are committed to delivering."

Comments (8)

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10:48am Fri 1 Aug 14

LibDem says...

Nothing to do with cuts this time.

it's all about rank poor management and leadership by Labour Cabinet members.

3 years behind schedule and no contractor yet appointed.
Nothing to do with cuts this time. it's all about rank poor management and leadership by Labour Cabinet members. 3 years behind schedule and no contractor yet appointed. LibDem
  • Score: -14

11:04am Fri 1 Aug 14

Jack Ham says...

Same old excuses about funding cuts.

They didn't stop the unwanted 20 MPH zones. They didn't stop the unwanted and hugely costly Lendal Bridge closure. They didn't stop the arts barge, the Fairness Commission or the numerous overseas trips for officers.

Perhaps it's now time for some honesty. CYC and Labour chose to fund those things yet cuts basic services to residents.

Shameful incompetence.
Same old excuses about funding cuts. They didn't stop the unwanted 20 MPH zones. They didn't stop the unwanted and hugely costly Lendal Bridge closure. They didn't stop the arts barge, the Fairness Commission or the numerous overseas trips for officers. Perhaps it's now time for some honesty. CYC and Labour chose to fund those things yet cuts basic services to residents. Shameful incompetence. Jack Ham
  • Score: -11

11:29am Fri 1 Aug 14

acomblass says...

Tracey Simpson Laing should be required to resign over this. Lindsay Cunningham Cross trots out the same excuses blaming the government for the cuts - sorry Lindsay this is now a worn out record but one no doubt put into your head by the Member for Performance whose ability is also in question.
There are people suffering because of your incompetence and things are now unravelling big style for you and your colleagues. The third report in less than a week which is critical of your abilities. Thank goodness there are people in the community who are able to question your actions - you will not be able to hide behind others for long - there is more to come.
Tracey Simpson Laing should be required to resign over this. Lindsay Cunningham Cross trots out the same excuses blaming the government for the cuts - sorry Lindsay this is now a worn out record but one no doubt put into your head by the Member for Performance whose ability is also in question. There are people suffering because of your incompetence and things are now unravelling big style for you and your colleagues. The third report in less than a week which is critical of your abilities. Thank goodness there are people in the community who are able to question your actions - you will not be able to hide behind others for long - there is more to come. acomblass
  • Score: -11

12:50pm Fri 1 Aug 14

intheknow? says...

And it doesn't stop there... The Social Services Transport Fleet Dept is closing down in 2015 with the loss of not only many good, loyal staff, but just as important a vital transport service for the elderly and disabled. And how will these people now be transported? By taxi !
The idea behind this is to save money - apparently. However, we the tax payer will fund the majority of the cost of each journey. What's different about that you ask? The difference is the care provided to each customer/person. No taxi driver is going to make sure an elderly person with altzheimers manages to unlock their front door and put on the heating and lock the door behind them etc... or ask "are you feeling well today? You don't look your normal self. Have you remembered to take your medication?" Seeing the transport driver is sometimes the only regular person they see and they trust 'their driver'. My mother thoroughly enjoys her 3 times-a-week journeys in the 'big white bus' to her day centre. It's the highlight of the day.

And this is all so Ms England can farm out another department to the private sector so COYC has no responsibility - so sad!
And it doesn't stop there... The Social Services Transport Fleet Dept is closing down in 2015 with the loss of not only many good, loyal staff, but just as important a vital transport service for the elderly and disabled. And how will these people now be transported? By taxi ! The idea behind this is to save money - apparently. However, we the tax payer will fund the majority of the cost of each journey. What's different about that you ask? The difference is the care provided to each customer/person. No taxi driver is going to make sure an elderly person with altzheimers manages to unlock their front door and put on the heating and lock the door behind them etc... or ask "are you feeling well today? You don't look your normal self. Have you remembered to take your medication?" Seeing the transport driver is sometimes the only regular person they see and they trust 'their driver'. My mother thoroughly enjoys her 3 times-a-week journeys in the 'big white bus' to her day centre. It's the highlight of the day. And this is all so Ms England can farm out another department to the private sector so COYC has no responsibility - so sad! intheknow?
  • Score: -12

1:19pm Fri 1 Aug 14

meme says...

How many errors/blunders/mist
akes do these people have to make before they do the decent thing and fall on their swords?
Or do they think they above all of that as they are councillors and our money does not matter?
How many errors/blunders/mist akes do these people have to make before they do the decent thing and fall on their swords? Or do they think they above all of that as they are councillors and our money does not matter? meme
  • Score: -11

2:21pm Fri 1 Aug 14

anotherfloatingvoter says...

I've already had experience with the taxi firm. My daughter has severe learning difficulties and limited mobility although she can walk short distances and access a bus as long as there are suitable handles for her to hold on to. She attends day centre with transport provided by CoYC fleet. However, it was decided that for one day a week transport would be provided by taxi due to unavailabilty of the bus. Something to do with driver shortage on this particular day, I believe.

On the first day a "minibus" taxi turned up and my daughter was expected to stand on a "step-up" so that she could reach the bus step and stretch her arms out above her head to try to reach the rail to hold on to while the escort pushed her up from behind!

Needless to to say she is not going by taxi! She has now been added to the route of another fleet bus for this one day.

As intheknow? says, fleet is closing next year and I forsee a battle with CoYC and the taxi firm. The fleet drivers and escorts are great people.
They know the people they pick up, in my daughters case they know how she reacts to things, they understand her basic sign language and are aware how to treat a "hypo" if she has one. (She has type 1 diabetes).

God help us all in the future!
I've already had experience with the taxi firm. My daughter has severe learning difficulties and limited mobility although she can walk short distances and access a bus as long as there are suitable handles for her to hold on to. She attends day centre with transport provided by CoYC fleet. However, it was decided that for one day a week transport would be provided by taxi due to unavailabilty of the bus. Something to do with driver shortage on this particular day, I believe. On the first day a "minibus" taxi turned up and my daughter was expected to stand on a "step-up" so that she could reach the bus step and stretch her arms out above her head to try to reach the rail to hold on to while the escort pushed her up from behind! Needless to to say she is not going by taxi! She has now been added to the route of another fleet bus for this one day. As intheknow? says, fleet is closing next year and I forsee a battle with CoYC and the taxi firm. The fleet drivers and escorts are great people. They know the people they pick up, in my daughters case they know how she reacts to things, they understand her basic sign language and are aware how to treat a "hypo" if she has one. (She has type 1 diabetes). God help us all in the future! anotherfloatingvoter
  • Score: -14

5:25pm Fri 1 Aug 14

only human says...

The same old stories over and over keep coming out over adult services.Nobody seems to know what the hell they are doing.
The cocy has a system of keeping the same old faces in their comfortable desk jobs pen pushing and coffee slurping whilst doing very little to improve the service.
Its shocking to see some middle management and above in the same roles year on year ,they need a total shakeup.
Budgets have been slashed over many years now and only those that can contribute financially or those in total desperate need of care are now eligible to receive even the basic 4 x a15 min calls a day at home.
COCY wants to wash their hands of providing any care to people whatsoever,they would love to see everything privatised to profit based agencies regardless of quality of care on offer.
The majority of care staff doing the hands on part in peoples homes or in the scarce eph settings are fully aware that care provided directly by coyc staff is the best and mostreliable by far.
The majority of people receiving this coyc care service are residing in coyc rented accomodation whilst the customers who live in their own homes tend to be shafted to agencies and receive on average poor care and more missed calls.
These superhomes always sounded too good to be true but even more worrying they sounded "institutional" and the whole point of smaller units was to get away fromthe old institutional style settings.
I would like to see more sheltered hosuing provided with good quality care povided by regular staff to enable people to stay at home longer and reduce the knock on to services through poor care.
Its always a false economy to pay peanuts !!!!
I would also shake up the management and make them performance based as some of them have no people skills and therefore do not connect with staff or customers efficiently.
Move them around every year and make them compete for jobs.
Its no good having staffin the care sector who are merely in it for the money not the vocation.........sta
t at the top....its a long way down the greasy pole.,
The same old stories over and over keep coming out over adult services.Nobody seems to know what the hell they are doing. The cocy has a system of keeping the same old faces in their comfortable desk jobs pen pushing and coffee slurping whilst doing very little to improve the service. Its shocking to see some middle management and above in the same roles year on year ,they need a total shakeup. Budgets have been slashed over many years now and only those that can contribute financially or those in total desperate need of care are now eligible to receive even the basic 4 x a15 min calls a day at home. COCY wants to wash their hands of providing any care to people whatsoever,they would love to see everything privatised to profit based agencies regardless of quality of care on offer. The majority of care staff doing the hands on part in peoples homes or in the scarce eph settings are fully aware that care provided directly by coyc staff is the best and mostreliable by far. The majority of people receiving this coyc care service are residing in coyc rented accomodation whilst the customers who live in their own homes tend to be shafted to agencies and receive on average poor care and more missed calls. These superhomes always sounded too good to be true but even more worrying they sounded "institutional" and the whole point of smaller units was to get away fromthe old institutional style settings. I would like to see more sheltered hosuing provided with good quality care povided by regular staff to enable people to stay at home longer and reduce the knock on to services through poor care. Its always a false economy to pay peanuts !!!! I would also shake up the management and make them performance based as some of them have no people skills and therefore do not connect with staff or customers efficiently. Move them around every year and make them compete for jobs. Its no good having staffin the care sector who are merely in it for the money not the vocation.........sta t at the top....its a long way down the greasy pole., only human
  • Score: -11

8:21pm Fri 1 Aug 14

The Junkyard Angel says...

Money doesn't talk it swears.............
Money doesn't talk it swears............. The Junkyard Angel
  • Score: -13

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