LIKE most people, I was horrified on to read the article on page 7 in the Weekend Examiner, July 17 which reported that care workers had left confidential information on view in their cars.
I am sure the managers of the companies involved will be appalled to hear of it and will be taking appropriate measures.
My concern is that Paul Holmes, Kirklees branch secretary of trade union Unison, states that “private home care is cheaper because you don’t get the standards, you don’t get the training and you don’t get the discipline” and “private companies don’t take the job seriously”.
I believe these comments are generalised and based on lack of knowledge of the private sector. They may also be biased, as most carers employed in the private sector are not affiliated to any union.
At Keystone Healthcare, all care workers receive six full days’ induction training which provides staff with the knowledge base, practical skills and moreover an understanding of how to support one of the most vulnerable groups in our society in a safe and lawful way.
This of course includes confidentiality and data protection and it is explained to staff that breaches of confidentiality would lead to disciplinary action.
After the initial induction, new care support workers are closely supervised for at least three months until satisfactory completion of their probation, they then start studying for an NVQ in care.
All our homecare staff undergo regular supervisions to ensure standards are maintained. Care support workers also receive regular ongoing training often in conjunction with Kirklees Council who support private care companies with high quality cost effective training to keep expenditure down.
These courses include training such as manual handling, dementia awareness training and enablement training etc…
We work closely with the Kirklees council and they monitor the private companies to ensure quality. Safety is paramount. The private sector are able to provide a cheaper service because they are often more efficient, therefore, care can be provided to a high standard with a quality driven approach but in a cost effective manner.
This, for us, is about putting something back into our local community. We can only speak for ourselves but I am sure other private home care organisations feel the same way. We take exception to Paul Holmes’s ill-informed comments and assure you we take this job very seriously!
Director, Keystone Healthcare Group
Not up to standard
I AM totally in agreement with the comments made by Paul Holmes, Kirklees branch secretary of trade union Unison (Weekend Examiner, July 17) regarding private home care.
I have had home care for my mother since 2001. Four years ago I had agency care thrust upon me. It has never been up to standard – missed calls etc – and the last month or two she has been attended by temporary staff working for the agency, hence the ridiculous situation of an agency working for an agency.
Restoring the faith
WHEN Tony Blair first appeared on the political scene, selling his brand of New Labour, many people were impressed and of course voted along these lines.
Thirteen years have passed and the final back-stabbing account of what really went on has come to light in Lord Mandelson’s memoirs, now published.
It has always been suspected of course, going back in history, what politics and politicians can be like. However, the account by Mandy really beggars belief, and justifies the voting public’s suspicions that the country started going down the pan a good while ago.
So now a great number of the electorate have lost the desire to vote at all.
However, the new government will really have to keep their promises and bring this country back to its former glory, not for the sake of their own egos.
The mood for music
IF there is one thing that Huddersfield lacks it is good music venues.
In the 70s people could go and enjoy regular top line bands, at the time at the Builders Club on Wood Street and later on at Ivanhoe’s on Manchester Road.
I don’t think I ever missed a concert there and it was packed out when bands like Thin Lizzy, Edgar Broughton Band, Babe Ruth and Sutherland Bros played it. It was very enjoyable and you never saw fights there with loutish behaviour.
What happened to all these concerts we were promised at the Galpharm Stadium? Have they stopped as well?
Music bonds people together and it’s always exciting to go and watch top bands in your local town or city. So where did it all go wrong in sunny Huddersfield?
Round in circles
I’LL be more inclined to be mystified by crop circles when someone can find one that has no tracks leading to it!
‘Double dip’ danger
NATIONAL and regional unemployment fell in the year to June by 0.3%. In the Colne Valley constituency it fell by 0.6%.
This success vindicates the Labour government’s policy of boosting economic activity until the recession is past and then applying the brakes slowly.
The Tory Chancellor, George Osborne, supported by the Lib-Dems, says his top priority is cutting the deficit.ŠHe regrets that his harsh measures will throw hundreds of thousands of public sector workers out of their jobs. He believes that there will be a corresponding increase in private sector jobs.
I haven’t heard one economist who agrees with him.
There is a real danger that Mr Osborne’s policies will cause the double-dip recession that Labour was warning would be the effect of Tory policies at the election. Unemployment will then go up in both public and private sectors.
No-one wants to go back the horrors of the Thatcher years, but that could happen if George Osborne has his way.
What we need are policies that continue to support economic growth, protect jobs and cut the deficit fairly.
A roundabout way
MR Quarmby is certainly correct (Meltham Hazards, Mailbag, July 12) – the more lumps, bumps and markings there are on a road, plus a plethora of roadside signs, and the more dangerous that road becomes, due to the attention of drivers and pedestrians being distracted.
The sign (still there) states “Road and pavement improvements for six weeks commencing March 1”, or words to that effect.
The ‘improvements’ to pavements are few and far between and whether or not the mutilation of Holmfirth Road, Station Street and Slaithwaite Road is an improvement is a matter of opinion.
In the course of the work, a sign appeared warning of new mini roundabouts. At that stage, the roundabouts were better described as ‘ghost roundabouts’, being a black inscribed circle on a black surface, with no lines.
As a result, some drivers saw and treated them as roundabouts and others, not surprisingly, did not, resulting in a cacophony of car horns and screeching tyres and, no doubt, a volley of expletives.
Only by the grace of God was a serious accident avoided. These measures are supposed to be in the interests of safety?
We also seem to have a ghost zebra crossing on Huddersfield Road and a ghost pedestrian refuge at the bottom of Wessenden Head Road. They certainly are invisible, although called for on the plans.
Is it significant that they are two of few really useful parts of the plan?
A L Jones
Open to snooping
IN response to the article ‘Privacy group quiz NHS’ (Examiner, July 16), NHS Kirklees back-pedalled on their incorrect statement that “only clinical staff will have access to people’s medical details” on the new centralised summary care record system and have now admitted that details could be divulged “in limited circumstances, allowed by law”.
The rules that govern when external authorities can access information on these records explicitly state when ‘it’s in the public interest’, as a separate category from ‘resulting from a court order’.
There is no safeguard against a future government or authority deciding for whatever frivolous reason that it’s now in the public interest to access your health records. Given that once a record has been created for you it can’t be deleted (only hidden from clinical staff), this leaves people’s health records open to snooping by any future government.
NO2ID Spokesperson, Hebden Bridge
WOULD whoever stole the scarecrow dressed as a policeman from Farnley Tyas please return him?
He was quite a sight and attracted a lot of passing interest, not least from the police themselves.