"There seems to be no Plan B when someone phones in sick"

About: Elite Care (Scotland) Ltd

(as a service user),

I have used Elite Care for several years now and, at present, have a really great team of carers. However, there seems to be a problem when a carer calls in sick. While I appreciate that sick leave is part of everyday life, I feel that improvements could be made when someone calls in sick.

I had an experience very recently when the carer did not appear for her breakfast visit. On phoning out of hours, I was informed that they were just going to phone me and told that a carer would be at me at 8. 45am. I stated I needed to catch a bus at 10. 00am and was assured the carer would attend in time for me to get on the bus. No carer had arrived by 9. 10am so I again phoned and, after several attempts, finally spoke to the staff who had just been informed on what was happening. I said that it was now too late to send someone as my PA would be in shortly and I would ask her to carry out my personal care. Time for a shower and dress, but no breakfast.

In the afternoon, I phoned to ask who was coming at teatime and was given the name of a carer. No show at the stated time so I phoned Out of Hours who, after contacting the carer, phoned me back to tell me the carer had not been aware of the change in rota but she would be with me as soon as possible. She arrived at 6. 00pm, 50 minutes after the scheduled time. She was very apologetic.

Two issues arose from these incidents - a) I, the service user, should have been informed as soon as possible after my carer phoned in sick, so that I could rearrange my morning accordingly; b) the teatime carer should have been contacted direct rather than her rota being changed without her knowledge.

Elite is such a great company and I get on well with all the staff, carers and those in the office. But there seems to be no Plan B when someone phones in sick

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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 experience of Elite Care with us and the wider community. I agree with your analysis that on this occasion communication with yourself and with carers was not all it could have been. Yes you should have been informed that there was a problem and that there would possibly be a delay in getting a carer to you. In the afternoon, again chnages should have been confirmed with both yourself and the carer attending at tea. On behalf of Elite Care I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of this breakdown in communication.

If you would like to discuss this further with either myself or the relevant service manager then please do not hesitate to contact your local office. I would be more than happy to discuss this further with you to get some specific details around what happened.

It is also encouraging to see that in the main your experience of Elite Care has been a positive one and we will strive to eradicate the problems you have brought to my attention from our service delivery.

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