"Poor administration of service provision"

About: Elite Care (Scotland) Ltd

(as a service user),

My mother has been receiving care in her home, provided by Elite Care. The quality of the care is excellent but there are issues with the completeness of the weekly care visit schedule that is meant to be sent to her in advance of each week.

This schedule should show the time and length of each visit and the name of the carer who will attend. There are often omissions in this list, caused by staffing problems I believe. This means that there can be care visits at a time not known to my mother. Although the carer who attends is normally one of my mother's regular carers, this has not always been the case, ie a carer who is not known to my mother has attended at a time not previously advised.

This is highly unsatisfactory on several levels, not least safety. I can understand that there may be occasions when not all information is available when the schedule is drawn up. However, this should be an unusual situation but it is happening regularly. Also, when it does happen, I feel that Elite should then communicate the details as soon as they are available and advise my mother, most certainly before the day and time of the visit. It should not be left to me or my mother to chase for this information.

When I phone Elite to ask about these missing details I am often provided with the information, who will attend and when, over the phone. This begs the question, why has this not been passed on without me having to phone?

While Elite are very apologetic when I phone to raise concerns, these situations persist. I feel that Elite do not fully appreciate the seriousness of this failing and the impact it has on their customers.

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Response from George Lang, Head of Services, Head Office, Elite Care (Scotland) Ltd

Thank you for taking the time to share your mothers and your experience of Elite Care. I am pleased that the actual support itself is considered excellent. Obviously I am less pleased about the situation regarding scheduled visits. If it is possible for you to give me a call on either 01334 472834 or 07713 374709 I would very happy to discuss this situation with you in more detail.

There have been improvements made in the scheduling over the last few weeks but it is still not exactly where it should be. Client schedules are posted out on a Wednesday for the following week and should ideally be getting posted out with no gaps in the arranged visits. We have been getting closer to that position week on week and it is my intention that we achieve that in the coming days and service branches are fully aware of this requirement.

I fully agree with you that where there are gaps or where changes are made due to staff sickness etc. your mother and/or yourself should be notified of the replacement worker in advance of the visit and I can only apologise if this has not been happening. If you do not see any improvement over the next week or two do please let me know.

Once again thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with us.

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Update posted by papiotos (a service user)

I appreciate the speedy response and welcome your assurances that this is being addressed. However, I am aware (having come across some minutes of a meeting on 23 September 2014 of the Elite Care Client Focus Group) that these issues have been occurring for at least 9 months now, yet remain unresolved.

I shall certainly be back in touch if the situation persists.

Response from George Lang, Head of Services, Head Office, Elite Care (Scotland) Ltd

Thank you for keeping a watchful eye on the unfilled situation. It does no harm to have an independent party reminding us of our responsibilities towards our clients.

You are correct in your summarisation that these problems that you have identified had been occurring for some time, probably longer than the 9 months identified. Last year was one of considerable change both in managerial and coordinating staff and without making excuses the level of change that we implemented takes time to settle down.

I am confident that we are now seeing the benefits of the changes made and I am equally confident that you will see improvements. If you do not see the desired improvements over the coming weeks I do hope you make me aware, thank you.

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