Upheaval fears over care change

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DISABLED people in Doncaster could face upheaval after a care contract passed into private hands.

That’s the warning from union chiefs after Doncaster Council confirmed services for helping 137 disabled people live in their own homes will switch providers from this summer.

Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust lost out to private care firm Care UK when the council put the service out to tender.

Health union officials have called for a seamless handover to avoid creating widespread worry for vulnerable people who use the service.

Pam Johnson, regional head of health for Unison, said: “This is going to affect more than 300 staff so we are going to be monitoring the situation very closely to see how the change will impact on them and the delivery of the service.

“It is very early days so we’re not sure how things are going to pan out but we want to avoid any uncertainty or problems for our members or for people who use supported living services.”

The supported living service is for adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and challenging behaviour. Workers help users maintain and develop self care and independent living skills in their own homes.

“There are no indications so far things could change but we would be very worried if they said they could provide the service with less people going forward. It is vital continuity in care is delivered.

Staff and the service will transfer to Care UK in June, said the Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust.

A spokesman added: “The trust is disappointed but will do its utmost to ensure a smooth and effective transfer.”

Joan Beck, the council’s director of adults and communities, said the council was ‘confident’ the trust would work with Care UK ‘to make the transition as smooth as possible for clients, carers and the support staff.’