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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Furness carers boss speaks out after cutbacks

THE boss of a charity which cares for the most vulnerable people in society has pledged it will continue to operate despite ending one of its services.

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CRAIG BACKHOUSE

Furness Carers, which has been a registered charity for 16 years, is set to discontinue its home care services due to Cumbria County Council cutbacks.

However the charity’s chief executive officer, Craig Backhouse, has reassured service users that other support services will continue.

He said: “What I want to emphasise is that Furness Carers as an organisation will still be in existence.

“The home care department is just one of a number of different areas we operate in.

“We are working with more than 1,200 other people in the area in supporting them through their care.”

The Barrow-based service has 17 staff who work in the home services support department and provide care to around 25 vulnerable people.

The council has reassured service users that their care will continue to be provided. However, it has been unable to confirm whether the contract will be transferred directly to another provider.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said this should happen so that there was continuity for the staff and service users, and praised the organisation for its recent positive Care Quality Commission report.

Mr Woodcock met with bosses from the charity on Friday afternoon and said it was vital that the staff were kept in their current roles.

Mr Backhouse said, in an ideal world, the full transfer would take place.

He said: “Ultimately, if you asked me what would be the best case scenario, I would say that although we have made the decision that we can no longer deliver the services here, it would be that the staff and service users would all be transferred to one provider.

“At the end of the day, it is up to the service users to make that decision (if this happens) but that is what we would prefer to happen.

“Whether that will happen or not is a very different question.”

Cumbria County Council said no decision had yet been made on the provision, but Mr Backhouse said he would contact service users and staff when there was any update.

He said: “My first point of call will be contacting the service users and staff, so that we can work with them straight away.”

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