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Bromley Labour leader suggests council may be covering up problems with home care services

PUBLISHED: 11:06 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:30 16 November 2016

Labour leader Angela Wilkins

Labour leader Angela Wilkins

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She claims she was provided with inaccurate information about care providers

Bromley council’s Labour leader has suggested the council may be guilty of covering up the state of home care services in the borough following the award of a £10 million contract to Caremark.

In September, councillor Angela Wilkins asked council leader Robert Evans to provide details of all Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports on services provided within Bromley’s Care Services department since 2011.

He replied that there had been six CQC reports, all of which were good or met all standards. But online research by Cllr Wilkins revealed additional reports in which home care contractors were in special measures, inadequate or in need of improvement.

Of 43 companies used by Bromley Council, nine do not meet CQC standards, while Caremark’s service was deemed to require improvement in all five areas inspected by the CQC.

Cllr Wilkins told other councillors that Caremark had received a poor CQC inspection when they renewed the framework agreement in July, but claims no-one had been informed of the report.

She commented: “Either Cllr Evans tried to hide the truth from me here, or he was happy to renew a contract worth more than £10 million without actually knowing or caring about the CQC inspection reports.

“Now that we have this report we know for certain that the quality of care being given to many of Bromley’s vulnerable residents just isn’t good enough.

“Does someone have to die before these Tories wake up?”

But Cllr Evans denied allegations of a cover up.

“CQC takes action against providers if their services are judged to be inadequate and they fail to make required improvements within the required timescales,” he said.

“The Council‘s policy is not to make any new placements with a registered provider where the CQC has found the service to be inadequate.”

He added that the council has its own monitoring programme in place to respond to local needs, with the frequency of visits based on a risk assessment.

When the CQC provides an inadequate rating, the council intensifies its scrutiny of care providers.

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