Melton families voice concerns over care packages for vulnerable loved ones

Adrian and Anita Smith with their son, Matthew, who they say has been let down by carers not turning up to support him and the family EMN-171023-151240001
Adrian and Anita Smith with their son, Matthew, who they say has been let down by carers not turning up to support him and the family EMN-171023-151240001
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Families in Melton borough say they have suffered stress and anxiety because care workers have regularly failed to show up to give them breaks from looking after vulnerable loved ones.

Fosse Healthcare was contracted by Leicestershire County Council a year ago to visit elderly and disabled people in the Melton area– a sole provider delivering the service instead of several different operators.

But, a number of complaints have been made to the Melton Times about the service they have received from the company.

Matthew Smith (26) has severe learning difficulties and needs constant supervision from his parents Adrian and Anita at their Waltham home.

Anita (50) said: “I wouldn’t be without Matthew, but he is hard work to look after.

“He isn’t able to speak, he is epileptic and he wakes throughout the night.

“We are supposed to get a carer out to see him in the evening to give Matthew a meal and a bath, but Fosse Healthcare often ring up to say they can’t send anyone, or the carer just doesn’t turn up.”

The couple are so unhappy with the situation they complained to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and have been told they need to inform the Ombudsman.

Anita, who has four other children in their 20s, added: “It does worry us that older people could be suffering like we are. Matthew has me and his dad to look after him when carers don’t come, but an old person might be on their own with no one else to turn to.”

Karen Haynes said her family got so fed up with the lack of home help for her elderly mum when she came out of hospital that they had to hire in a private carer.

She said Fosse Healthcare was due to put together a care package as her mother recuperated at her Gretton Court home after treatment for a fall, but nothing materialised.

“Mum was quite poorly and she was waiting around for weeks for them to arrange care for her,” said Karen.

“I work full time and was on long shifts, but I was having to go over to her house at night to check she was alright and to help her into bed.”

John Birkin was not given the care he needed in the last three weeks of his life when he returned to his Old Dalby home from hospital suffering from terminal leukaemia.

His daughter, Hannah, had to come from her London home to look after him because her 80-year-old mum was unable to.

“A carer was supposed to visit four times a day, but the carer was always late and on occasions they never turned up at all,” she said.

“The co-ordination seemed to be the problem - it was really bad.

“The carer would often tell us they were not given enough time to travel between appointments.”

Fosse Healthcare said recuitment had been difficult locally because of the rural nature of Melton borough, but the company was actively seeking to take on new community care workers.

The company is regulated by the CQC and works closely with the county council to ensure good quality care is delivered to their customers.

Fosse Healthcare says it takes all complaints very seriously and appropriate action is taken to address them.

Customers are encouraged to tell the CQC or the council if they are unhappy with the service provided.