Further to your correspondence of the previous two weeks regarding domiciliary services provided by Derbyshire County Council, may I be allowed to make the following observations.
In my 25 years of working for the authority I have never known as much change as in the past 12 months.
The present economic climate has forced major re-thinking about the way services are provided, but I believe we still provide a home care service second to none.
Of course none, neither service users nor staff, accept change easily but I believe that all possible measures have been taken to ensure continuity and quality of care.
I sit in a room with three domiciliary organisers (the managers of the home helps) and I can confirm that EVERY day their first task from lam onwards is to find cover for staff who have gone off sick overnight. While acknowledging that there appear to be genuine reasons for absenteeism, it nevertheless makes the job of scheduling and keeping time slots consistent for service users difficult.
While I appreciate how I would feel if I were to be a service user and received different faces, I nevertheless really do believe that all efforts are made by the organisers to maintain consistency with both staff and their service users.
Finally, I really do believe in this present climate we all have to work together as a team to provide the quality of care that has become expected form Derbyshire County Council.
l For more letters on this subject see page 20.