FOLLOW UP POST TO
Blackpool, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire,
When it came to LA decision making, the Home of our choice and where we were led to believe Marie had been assessed for, was excluded from the selection by the local authority. I was informed daughter could not have the Home of preference because other clients would see it as favouritism and then they'd have to give everybody what they wanted.
Weeks passed and I really thought they were making headway with Marie's preferred choice when the social worker rang me late one afternoon to tell me Marie had been uploaded onto the care portal 2 days ago and would be on it for 7 days and that if nobody bid for her she would be uploaded for another 7. I nearly collapsed.
No bids for your daughter is bittersweet and shows how heartless and cruel the tendering process is. However, I do think Marie was removed from the care portal although they would never admit it.
1. Since April 2014 how many adults with a learning disability applying for residential care has xxxx County Council submitted for tender on the internet care portal for care providers to bid for their care packages?
2. How many of these people lacked capacity?
3. How many adults with a learning disability has xxxx County Council successfully placed through the tendering process since April 2014?
4. How many of those successfully placed lacked capacity?
As the FOI results trickled in my heart began to lift; all was not lost. Despite their poor funding and whilst there may be many Councils around the country that still use care portals most of the authorities I contacted did not.
Tendering on care portals is clearly controversial. To submit the details of those who lack the capacity to give their permission is despicable. I am told that no personal details are submitted but that's a contradiction in terms because every word written about my daughter pertains to who she is.
If Marie applied for residential care and had no preference, since April 2016 under the Care Act she should be offered several choices of accommodation.
If Marie had a preference, under the Care Act SW could present her with more options in order to ensure Marie has a fair choice. It’s face to face personalised planning that takes Marie’s needs and preferences into account though we would still have opted for her preferred home that had been keeping her bed for months.
(Instead they rejected Marie's preferred choice and offered her to three strangers.)
So the Care Act promotes a selection of choices to ensure a person's needs will be met. What the Care Act does not do is promote mandatory use of care portals as the SW tried to make us believe.
To ignore the family's wishes and replace the Home of Marie's choice with a one shoe fits all high-handed approach was obviously designed to bully us into doing something I found totally abhorrent. Putting adults with a learning disability out for tender did make SW job easier and I do accept how heavy their work-load can be but by doing so they turned my daughter into a commodity and devastated all the family. Just throw all the vulnerable adults into the drum, give it a spin and see which unknown care providers scroll through their details to see if it’s worth bidding for the care package - or not. Thankfully most local authorities I approached did not resort to using portals and preferred to meet individual needs in a more dignified way.
Click blue links below to individual What Do They Know Freedom of Information requests.
Blackpool Borough Council
is not something Blackpool Council would impose.”
Blackpool Borough Council - Freedom of Information
Buckinghamshire County Council - Freedom of Information
care during the period of 2016. Due to changes in the Council’s computer
systems data prior to 2016, and any further information or more accurate
assessment of how this care was tendered, is not held.”
Cheshire West and Chester Council - Freedom of Information
family identifying a residential home and then the social worker would present this to panel
Essex County Council - Freedom of Information
Gloucestershire County Council
I am pleased to provide a response to your request for information, received on 29 December 2016: Since April 2014 how many adults with a learning disability applying for residential care has Gloucestershire County Council submitted for tender on the internet care portal for care providers to bid for their care packages? Answer = 91
care for adults who have a learning disability.”
Hampshire County Council - freedom of information
"None as all residential care in our borough is in-house and all out of borough placements are spot purchases." Obtained directly through email so no link.
submitted for bids on the care portal. For Learning Disability, Mental
Health and Physical Disability, residential contracts are awarded to new
services/providers following the completion of the Residential Cost Model
process and fees being deemed as value for money, taking into account the
need for the specific service. Once the cost model process has been
completed individual placements are made to a service through the KCC
Adult Purchasing team, taking into consideration the needs of the
Lancashire County Council - Freedom of Information
Leicestershire County Council - Freedom of Information
relates, however in general the Council does not use such a portal for
LD care tendering purposes. Ordinarily, up to three Providers are
short-listed and invited to Tender on the basis of the following
criteria; Ability to meet care/support needs; Service User / Family
preference; Cost; Geography; track record and experience; CQC/ LCC
Liverpool City Council
process. Eighty five have been placed in a residential setting included supported living, residential and nursing care.”
Liverpool City Council - Freedom of Information
disability applying for residential care have been 'offered for tender on
the internet to care providers'”
Nottingham County Council - Freedom of Information
purchase supported living and community support services in this way.”
Oxfordshire County Council - Freedom of Information
in accordance with the Care Act and ratified at a Quality and
Peterborough City Council - Freedom of Information
Plymouth City Council - Freedom of Information
“Rochdale Council operates a preferred provider list for learning disability. All packages are commissioned against this list via what is known as an “expression of interest”. Packages are subsequently reviewed against individual need prior to an award being made.
We do not advertise these on the internet.”
internet to care providers for people with learning disabilities applying
for residential care.”
Warrington Borough Council
Warrington Borough Council - Freedom of Information
Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council - Freedom of Information
Wolverhampton City Council - Freedom of Information
On behalf of myself and the rest of the Warrior Mums I would like to thank all the authorities who responded to my FOI request. Of course the Law stipulates they had to respond, but still, their attitude to using care portals spoke volumes and reminds us all how much compassion, respect and integrity still flourishes.