Fears over care standards if Doncaster old people’s homes are privatised

Campaigners pictured previously handing in a protest to Doncaster Council over the planned care home closures
Campaigners pictured previously handing in a protest to Doncaster Council over the planned care home closures

Campaigners have warned care standards in seven Doncaster care homes could fall dramatically if private sector groups take over running them.

Campaigners from the CareGate Action Group said they feared there could be falling standards in specialist care at homes including Rowena House in Conisbrough, Gattison House in Rossington, Oldfield House in Stainforth, Owston View in Skellow, Rose House in Armthorpe, Stenson Court in Balby and Plantation View in Cantley, following agreement of recommendations to Doncaster Council cabinet which meets on Wednesday, January 21.

Those recommendations agreed by all parties at a Scrutiny and Overview Committee meeting on Monday include having a good quality monitoring system of any future provider, extensive checks of potential providers before contracts are given, having regular unannounced visits of care homes, setting up visiting panels in each area through ward members and having an holistic approach to care in Doncaster.

Other recommendations include proposal of a charter of care for each home for such things as where to go when you have a complaint and keeping staff informed of the changing nature of the business to reflect a move towards greater care in people’s own home.

Pauline Collins, whose 89-year-old father has dementia and is a resident in Rowena House, said: “Personally I have fears for the standard of care. I feel the private sector would not give the same level of care as that received in Doncaster Council run homes. The money spent, especially on those needing specialist care, may not be tailor made for individuals needing greater levels of attention and standards for them may drop.

“It seems like the council has listened to MPs on this issue in this election year and not people like us that really count.”

Fellow CareGate member, Peter Sumner, added: “It is only through the efforts of groups like ours that these homes have remained open for this long. We must keep the pressure on to ensure the quality of care in each home is maintained. Also staff, who are absolute angels, need to be protected to ensure consistency of care. We don’t want just anyone caring for the elderly.”