Councillors have raised concerns over the amount of money being paid to companies for home care for elderly and vulnerable people in Bradford.
Bradford Council pays £12.50 for standard domiciliary care per hour regardless of the time of day, or day of the week.
Speaking at the Council’s Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee yesterday, Councillor Jeanette Sunderland said the provider’s carers were only receiving the national minimum wage from this hourly figure.
Councillors vowed to investigate the matter further during the next 12 months at a future scrutiny meeting. They will also look to invite some of the 83 accredited care service providers the Council uses to a future meeting to discuss the matter.
Coun Sunderland said: “We only pay out £12.50, I want to look closely at how this money is spent.
“We owe it to people to look at the impact of this £12.50 decision and the service we are delivering.
“We should take it apart. I would quite like to talk to some of these businesses providing the services for us.
“They start to shave costs. It should cost around £15 an hour.”
Coun Michelle Swallow said: “I just don’t want a good service for the people of Bradford, I want the best service they can give. It’s more about the people and not just about the money.”
A report presented to the committee revealed 2,249 people have their domiciliary care provided by the Council, who paid £12.9 million over the 2013-14 financial year.
The report probed how home care is arranged with individuals who are eligible for the support.
A row erupted last summer over claims carers were given just 15 minutes to wash, cook and care for their patients during visits. A separate review will probe these ‘flying visits’.
In a bid to improve the efficiency of the service, the Council has grouped adjacent visits together to slash travel time between jobs for carers and reduce mileage. They also hope to ‘transform’ the home care service by giving the money to beneficiaries themselves to give them ‘more choice and more control’.