"Not a great experience I'm afraid"

About: Elite Care (Scotland) Ltd

(as a carer),

My mum passed away recently and in the few months before her death had a carer come in twice a day.

The morning carer was from social work and they were lovely and really helped. The afternoon carer was from Elite, which I believe is part of this project.

In the afternoons the carer was meant to be there for 15 minutes, and was meant to make sure she took her tablets and ate something. The carer rarely stayed that long and would often give the tablets, note all was well or note mum was confused but do nothing about it, then leave.

There was little continuity of staff and my mother never got to know any of these carers. They were all pleasant enough, and some of them did more than others but heating up a tin of spaghetti hoops in the microwave and leaving it to congeal in front of her... well, that wasn't too helpful.

A lot of them were really young. Part of the problem was that her visits got earlier and earlier and who wants to eat their tea at 4:15 pm? In the end it was good that someone at least checked on her later in the day, but that's all they really did.

When she died Elite rang up to say they had to have their notes back for legal reasons but despite several phone calls from me asking them to pick them up (they had the key safe number so could have come at any time) they still hadn't 10 days later when I handed the keys to her sheltered housing bungalow back.

I don't want to put people off using Elite, but I think anyone receiving care from them needs to be able to take charge of their own care to get what they need from them - my mum wasn't able to do this and I didn't live near enough to keep a close enough eye.

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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 with the wider community your experiences of Elite Care.

It is disappointing on several levels that the support appears not to have been all it should have. There appears to have been a lack on continuity around the support provided and possibly a lack of understanding as to the remit of the support.

Rather than being personalised and caring in nature if seems to have become more about being task orientated and that is not the perception of Elite I want people to have.

One of the difficulties we can encounter is the lack of time to deliver fully on the service we would like to provide. 15 minutes is not sufficient time for a support worker to attend to medication properly and also prepare a meal and have time to ensure the recipient has eaten the meal. Unfortunately it is still a time frame that several local authorities still use.

All said and done it doesn't take away from the responsibility that Elite had towards the service user and for ensuring that the experience was as beneficial and as personalised as it could be and for that I do apologise.

If you wished to contact me directly on 01334 472834 or 07713 374709 or by email at George.lang@elitecareathome.co.uk I would be more than happy to look into the specifics of the service provided and give you a more detailed response.

I will also be reminding the services of their responsibilities towards the clients that we support.

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