A REVIEW has been carried out by Hertfordshire County Council after serious concerns were raised over some companies providing homecare.

A report presented to the health and adult cabinet in October 2012 highlighted an increase in complaints in 2011/12 for homecare provided by the council.

Following complaints about Health Personnel in Barnet which covered the North Herts area, the council carried out an unannounced inspection in November 2012, one of a series across the county.

Concerns identified by the inspection included poor recruitment practice, absence of risk assessments and care plans for some service users, and poor training. Due to serious nature of the breaches Health Personnel’s contract was terminated immediately.

Colette Wyatt-Lowe, cabinet member for health and adult care, said: “We keep a close eye on the standard of care provided to residents using our services. As has been the case with Health Personnel, we are quick to take action if we think they are not up to scratch.

Paul Onyemenem, service manager at Health Personnel believes that the company have since made things a lot better by using more responsive practices.

He said: “With the recommendations made by Hertfordshire County Council we are a much better organisation now because of the lessons learnt.”

Overall complaints have now fallen since the council put in place tighter inspections.

Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, said “Although it is encouraging that the number of complaints has fallen overall, it is unacceptable there are still so many complaints. Needing the support of a professional to help look after a loved one is often a difficult but necessary decision for many local people and it is only fair that they deliver the highest standards. I am pleased that on the whole this is the case, but where there are issues we must step in quickly and take immediate action.”

Anyone with concerns about the quality of care they or someone they know receive should contact Hertfordshire County Council on 0300 123 4042.

More advice is available on www.hertsdirect.org/hcs