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Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report into care of elderly people – response from DoCare

The EHRC’s report into care of the elderly has been welcomed by Gloucestershire-based homecare provider DoCare.

But Managing Director Stephen Mills stressed that while the findings of some cases of neglect were a cause for concern, his family-run business adopted the highest standards of care.

"It’s very important that, as an industry, there is transparency and the EHRC’s report has shed light onto some worrying cases which need to be addressed," said Stephen, who is also on the board of the industry’s professional body, the UKHCA – UK Home Care Association.

"There are problems with the system which have to be addressed, such as the way home care is commissioned by councils which are having to stretch their budgets."

"In addition to highlighting unacceptable practice, this report must act as a wake-up call to the affect public cost-cutting is having on the services provided to some of the most vulnerable people in our community."

DoCare, based in Stroud and with six teams of carers working throughout Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire, prides itself on its high standard of care. Cirencester team leader, Kerry-Ann Lees, is a finalist in the Great British Carer Awards for the dementia carer award, and her colleague Andrea Baird was a regional finalist.

Satisfaction levels across all the teams are consistently and substantially higher than those reported by the EHRC and by the Department of Health. DoCare’s in-house employee award scheme, based on comments and feedback from clients, also helps the team to raise and maintain high standards.

Stephen said: “Everyone at DoCare, from the managers to the carers, takes pride in our work and we are committed to ensuring we provide the best possible service for all our clients.

"It’s also important to point out that the report notes that many people are very happy with their home care service, which enables them to carry on living independently."

Stephen said he would urge the Government to invest in care workers, who provide a vitally important role but are invariably low paid and under-qualified. "At DoCare we offer a very competitive employment package to our staff, well above the national minimum wage, and invest in our staff through ongoing training, which ensures we provide a very high level of customer service. This isn’t the case nationally. We also think a lack of information about how to go about obtaining care makes it difficult for elderly people and their relatives to make informed choices."

Notes to editors:

DoCare covers 650 square miles and has teams based in Cirencester, Cheltenham, Dursley, Gloucester, Stroud and Yate. Its head office is in Stroud.

Set up in 2004, this family-run business provides care and support to suit the needs of its clients, which may be half-an-hour a day or multiple visits per day. Help can be long-term or temporary and covers a range of support, from organising meals and shopping, to personal care or helping with housework. By enlisting help from DoCare, people are able to remain in their own homes instead of going into a care or nursing home. DoCare takes both private referrals and those from Social Services. Not all clients are elderly; DoCare can help all adults who need care at home.

For more information contact Sue Mothershaw, DoCare Communications Manager, on 01453 310010, or Jo Smyth, of Word Worker, on 01666 861149 or email jo@wordworker.co.uk