Blackpool home care services overhaul revealed

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Social work chiefs have unveiled details of a shake up of the way home carers will operate in Blackpool in future.

The measures, aimed at maximising the time carers spend with patients, follow a town hall investigation into the death of Blackpool D-day veteran Dennis Oldland, who died in 2016 after suffering burns when he was left overnight in a chair next to his fire.

-->READ MORE: Inquiry call after death of D-Day hero

The 94-year-old had been visited by a carer from Safehands Ltd, a firm contracted by Blackpool Council. An inquest heard Mr Oldland’s carer only stayed seven-and-a-half minutes, instead of the recommended minimum of 25 minutes, when she visited.

Karen Smith, director of adult services at Blackpool Council, has now set out a raft of proposals to overhaul the home care service.

These include extended contracts for up to 10 years to increase financial security for providers and encourage investment; shared resources, such as training; and greater support for carers.

Ms Smith says in her report to the adult social care and health scrutiny committee: “Providers will deliver care on a neighbourhood basis, across three localised areas (Blackpool north, central and south).

“Fewer providers operating in smaller condensed localities should lead to more efficient rotas and routes, which in turn should maximise contact time with service users, while minimising travel time between care visits.”

The service is due to be re-tendered later this year.

Mr Oldland had been left overnight partially clothed in a chair next to the fire, where he is thought to have suffered a mini stroke. He died in hospital 10 days later in November 2016  but his burn injuries were deemed partially responsible.

Coroner Alan Wilson said the carer’s visit was ‘inadequate’ but fell short of neglect.