Delivering a service

We would like to respond to issues raised on your letters pages of October 27 and November 3 about home care service. Helping elderly and vulnerable people live at home for as long as they can is a top priority for Derbyshire County Council.

We run a good quality service that puts the needs of local people first. Each week our committed and well-trained workforce provides first-class care and support to 3,200 people – 34,000 visits and 20,000 hours.

About three years ago we introduced a new computer system to help us deliver the most flexible and efficient service. This means we know what our clients want.

Each week we let them know who will be visiting, at what time and for how long. We try not to change the time of their visit unless they ask us to. We need to provide a service when a client needs and wants it, not when it is convenient for us.

Almost all our staff work flexibly so we can provide care services day and night. They also understand the need for efficiency savings on travel time and mileage. Unfortunately a small number are unhappy about this because it means changes to their working arrangements.

This system is not new. It makes better use of our staff, our equipment, time and resources – council tax payers expect it of us. Perhaps it is this that has made the letter writers cross. Our service works well and we receive very few complaints about it because our staff do a great job and are keen to do their best for local people.

Charles Jones

Cabinet member for adult care

and Bill Robertson

Strategic director adult care