Care workers to clock in and out
CARE workers in Westminster will soon be forced to clock in and clock out to ensure they work their allocated hours, the council announced this week. In an interview with the Wood&Vale, adult services chief Cllr Ed Argar revealed that from
CARE workers in Westminster will soon be forced to clock in and clock out to ensure they work their allocated hours, the council announced this week.
In an interview with the Wood&Vale, adult services chief Cllr Ed Argar revealed that from 2011 all carers for the elderly will be subject to electronic monitoring.
The announcement comes just weeks after local older people's champion, David Hogarth, disclosed that an elderly woman living in Westminster cancelled her domiciliary care over complaints about time-keeping.
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Writing in his weekly column for this newspaper, Mr Hogarth claimed: "She could not rely on them turning up at the right time. She paid for an hour but was lucky to get 25 minutes."
Cllr Argar said such cases were rare but admitted that these instances of negligence needed to be weeded out completely.
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He said: "There are going to be cases where a carer doesn't do exactly what it says on the tin and it's our job to minimise there cases - one case is one too many.
"But I wouldn't want people to see this as being endemic. The majority of carers do their job and people are very happy with their work."
As part of the council's strategy to improve care for older people, a new contract for the provision of carers for the elderly is currently being tendered.
Under the specifications for the tender, firms vying for the contract have been told that they must include a plan to introduce an electronic monitoring system.
"We have explicitly said that companies must have electronic monitoring in place by 2011 and we've asked them to explain how they plan to do this," Cllr Argar explained
"There are various systems but it's up to the companies to say which system will be most effective. One system is to electronically clock in and clock out."
Cllr Argar added that he hopes these measures, along with other improvements planned for adult services, will give older people more control over the care they receive.
Mr Hogarth: "I think carers not keeping to their times is much more frequent than Cllr Argar says.
"Unless we have the electronic monitoring we don't know how widespread it is, so electronic monitoring is very important.