Photo essay: Barnet’s disastrous privatisation of elderly care
So it ground on. There will be no great triumph for careworkers. There rarely is as privatisation rolls on.
The careworkers took the hit - and so did the council. Towards the end of 2010, the council lost the arbitration case with Catalyst Housing: Catalyst was awarded £8m in arbitration and the council had to pay that, and £2m in legal fees, out of reserves - at exactly the time that it was planning to make £53m in austerity cuts.
By 2011, there were also growing concerns about standards in Barnet carehomes: in addition to careworkers' concerns about the effects on services of workloads and work hours, legionella was found in three homes.
Careworkers continue to take hits: earlier this year, Barnet Housing 21 staff (careworkers who travel round the borough to care for elderly people and people with disabilities) were presented with a contract which will cut their salaries and leave and travel allowances.
Still, Barnet council continues with its plans to mass-privatise council services. The council's internal auditors produced a report this year which slammed its procurement and contracting processes, but on it goes.
Kate Belgrave blogs on the experience of public service users facing cuts.
- Posted by: Kate Belgrave at 8:02pm on 17 October 2011
- Filed under: Not yet assigned
(Abusive or off-topic comments will be deleted)