HOME CARE Contracts in Barnet : The reality of out-sourcing.

In 2002 the Council’s Home Care service was outsourced to Housing 21 with the existing staff complement TUPE’d over to this new employer.

As the years went by there have been restructures and the Council introduced CM2000; which meant that carers telephoned the office at the start and end of their allotted time with the service user. More recently there has been a reduction in the allotted visit times from the usual hour to separate slots of only 15, 30 or 45 minutes per visit. Hsg 21 provided some 3000+ hours of home care to elderly and vulnerable Barnet residents

The Council had many different providers for the various Home Care contracts and then last year there was the ‘Re-ablement project’ of 6 weeks of intensive regular support to aid early hospital discharges which Hsg 21 pilotted. Subsequently the contracts were re-tendered with a specialised ‘Re-ablement’ contract of between 1000-1600 hours per week to start from 1st November 2010 and separate contractors to provide the usual home care ongoing support.

Housing 21 won the ‘Re-ablement’ contract which was in part a tribute to the professionalism and integrity of the many ex-Barnet staff who worked so hard with the initial project. However there is now a serious deficit of a possible 2 thirds [3000+ down to 1000+] in the hours that Barnet Council has commissioned from Hsg 21 with obvious implications for nearly 200 members of staff. They face the uncertain future of possibly being again TUPE’d to one of the 11 new contractors, or being interviewed/selected for a re-ablement’ post with Hsg 21 or being made redundant. This effects the actual carers and also the office staff who support all the programming

Staff consultations start on Monday 6th Sept and Barnet UNISON will do everything possible to support members through this difficult and anxious time.