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Concerns over Wiltshire Council's contracts for home care services

Sirs
Thank you for your article on Wiltshire Council's Help to Live at Home scheme.

In November 2011 Leonard Cheshire Disability became the new 'Care Provider' for this area, almost immediately many of us highlighted a list of failures to Wiltshire Council.

By March 2012 the list of concerns had become so extensive a meeting between residents, Leonard Cheshire, Wiltshire Council and Aster was deemed necessary. Despite promises, and there were many, nothing changed. Absolutely nothing.

We lost faith. In the past five years the only staff who ever came to support residents in crisis were from Aster who had previously held the care contract.

In July 2013 an 'independent investigation' ordered by Wiltshire Council was underway, but we have never been able to gain access to the final report from Pat Palmer.

Five long years have passed. Some of the problems with Leonard Cheshire have been exposed by the Care Quality Commission. None of the issues we have raised has ever been resolved.

We are not sorry to see the back of this company that failed us for years. But we would like to think that Wiltshire Council will be far more selective and take more responsibility for the service provision, not just hand the care of the elderly and disabled to the cheapest bunch who submit a mass of mind befuddling dream world PR bumff in their tender application - without an iota of accountability for the next five years.

And the worry now is whether Mears (who are taking over from Leonard Cheshire and have had troubles with the CQC over their operations within the county) have the capacity to cope.
Jan Thornton
Great Bedwyn

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