‘Don’t cut our choice’ say home care users

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People who receive care at home in Mansfield have said Nottinghamshire County Council’s decision to cut the number of its home care providers will make them feel like ‘prisoners’.

Hellen Kistner is 84 and relies on care at home through a care package provided by Nottinghamshire County Council.

But she fears for the future as the number of council home care providers are being cut from 30 to around six in Notts, meaning only one per area.

“I fear for what these changes will mean, I don’t like the idea of having no choice and I don’t want to go over to direct payments. I

“I need three care visits a day because I struggle to get around, dress myself and cook for myself. I have had trouble with my carers in the past so what happens when these new changes come in and there is no choice?

“Already my carers struggle to deal with their workload and the visits are not long so the fact there will only be one company to chose from can only mean standards will drop even further. There should be another company to fall back on. This move will make people feel like prisoners, we are entitled to more freedom of choice than this.”

A petition has been set up by 34-year-old Lee Flowers, who is disabled and relies on receiving care through direct payments.

The petition calls on Nottinghamshire County Council to consult its service users and rethink the move.

Coun Muriel Weisz, chair of the adult social care and health committee, said: “The council will work with those companies that are not successful in being awarded a contract to ensure that their care workers are transferred to the successful companies.

“This will ensure that local people who are employed to provide these care services will be able to maintain their jobs.

“This will also help to reduce changes for people who receive the care services.”