RESIDENTS and staff at a Llanybydder care home have said they are “dismayed” at Carmarthenshire County Council’s decision to remove 24/7 care, leading to 15 staff being made redundant.
Following the recent consultation on the council’s budget, the council has agreed to change the extra care service that is provided at Cwm Aur residential complex for over 55s in Llanybydder.
The council has historically commissioned Pobl Group to deliver the extra care element of this service – which has been running since 2010.
The council said that “despite best efforts, occupancy levels at Cwm Aur for extra care residents has remained very low for a number of years.”
“Thus, following a review of the service in consultation with Pobl, both parties have agreed that the care needs of residents can be provided in a more sustainable way,” the council said.
“Therefore, it has been agreed to change the model whereby care will no longer be provided by Pobl group as an organisation, but instead, a domiciliary service will be arranged either by the council or external home care agency who provide care in the area.”
In January, letters were delivered to residents informing them that the Council is cancelling the care contract with Pobl from the beginning of April.
The changes mean that no care staff will be on-site overnight or weekend, and care packages will be fulfilled by carers from multiple agencies.
A group of residents and staff said: “The residents feel safe and secure with the carers on site 24/7. “They are fantastic and are more like extended family members.
“Dismay turned to disbelief and shock when it became clear that the 15 staff are not being offered positions with a new care provider.
“Instead the care packages are to be distributed amongst multiple care providers.
“There will be no continuity of care.
“No one from Carmarthenshire County Council has visited Cwm Aur to explain to residents the changes to their care and day to day living.
“The council has failed to respond to emails from residents’ families or from MPs, and Senedd Members.
“The Council is not acting with integrity or putting the needs of citizens first.”
The council said that the “needs of all residents affected have been assessed by the council’s social work teams, and the council is in the process of putting alternative arrangements in place to deliver the care.”
“All tenancies are secure, so no resident will be required to move and care will still be delivered in line with their assessed needs,” the council added.
“Pobl group is in the process of reviewing how they will deliver their responsibilities as a landlord, in terms of on-site support for non-care related support, and the council has agreed to maintain their financial contribution to support this.
“Staff who are employed by Pobl Group are affected by the proposal, and we are aware that Pobl Group has issued redundancy notices to these staff.
“We are however aware that some staff have secured other employment.”
Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “Carmarthenshire County Council appreciates that this is a difficult and unsettling time for residents and staff of Cwm Aur.
“As with any change, transition is always difficult, and the council will work with residents, their families and Pobl group to effectively manage that change.”