Portsmouth council called to cut ties with care company

Caroline Square in King William Street, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (160098-8180)
Caroline Square in King William Street, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (160098-8180)

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  • Authority needs to take ‘urgent action’ over staffing crisis claims
  • Council said a review of care contracts could be conducted if services weren’t up to scratch
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CALLS have been made for Portsmouth City Council to cut ties with a care company it contracts to look after hundreds of people.

The authority is being urged to end the deal with Sevacare amid claims a staffing crisis at the company is affecting the quality of care received by residents in the city.

If this agency can’t do the job then someone else needs to do it and the city council need to be making that happen as a matter of urgency

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Liberal Democrat leader

Liberal Democrat boss and former city leader, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson branded the situation ‘outrageous’.

He said: ‘This is really urgent. If a residential home or nursing home is in trouble, the city council should step in to make that sure that the people receive the care that they need.

‘If this agency can’t do the job then someone else needs to do it and the city council needs to be making that happen as a matter of urgency.’

The claims were revealed earlier this week after residents from Caroline Square complained.

Sevacare insists it has enough staff to carry out the work it is contracted to do.

But fresh concerns have been raised by the daughter of an 82-year-old woman who lives at Osprey Court, in Moorings Court, Southsea.

The 62-year-old, who asked not to be named, said: ‘My mother was left paralysed after a stroke. She was left for four hours in her own excrement because there weren’t enough carers on duty.’

She said carers were being stretched to breaking point as there were not enough of them and added: ‘I’m absolutely horrified by it. It affects my mother’s dignity.

Responding, the council’s assistant director of adult services Justin Wallace-Cook said the authority could review contracts if it felt it was necessary.

But he added: ‘We’re confident the majority of residents receive good care that they’re happy with and we’ve had positive feedback about this.

‘Sevacare is under contract to deliver a level of service and they’re keen to make improvements where some residents are not happy.

‘We’re working closely with them to address residents’ concerns and ensure the level of care expected is achieved for all residents.

‘If improvements aren’t made, we’d review the contract, as we would with any of our suppliers.’