Registered care homes where contracts have been suspended

Mike Clinton made this Freedom of Information request to East Sussex County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by East Sussex County Council.

Dear East Sussex County Council,

I would like to know the names of registered care homes for older people that hold contracts to provide services to East Sussex County Council funded residents, where contracts have been suspended (i.e. where the Council has stopped funding placements) within the last 12 months because of the contractor’s failure to provide satisfactory standards of care.

Yours faithfully,

Mike Clinton

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

 

 

Dear Mr Clinton

FOI Request ref  1202 / Clinton / Registered care homes where contracts
have been suspended

Thank you for your request for information about Registered care homes
where contracts have been suspended. Your request was received on
27/4/2012 and I am dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

We always aim to respond as quickly as possible, and certainly no later
than 25/5/ 2012, which is the 20 working day deadline. The deadline is
counted from the first working day we receive it, not the date a letter is
written / posted or an email sent.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be
required to pay before we proceed in dealing with your request.

Please quote the above reference number in any communication regarding
this request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jeremy Coleman
Freedom of Information Officer
Governance & Community Services

Tel  : 01273 482913

P  please consider the environment - do you really need to print this
email

 

This message is intended for the use of the addressee only and may
contain confidential or privileged information. If you have received it in
error please notify the sender and destroy it. You may not use it or copy
it to anyone else.

E-mail is not a secure communications medium. Please be aware of this
when replying. All communications sent to or from the County Council
may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with
relevant legislation.

Although East Sussex County Council has taken steps to ensure that this
e-mail and any attachments are virus free, we can take no responsibility
if a virus is actually present and you are advised to ensure that the
appropriate checks are made.

You can visit our website at http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

Dear Mr Clinton

Further to our email of 27 April, I am writing to advise you of our
progress in dealing with your request. You asked for information about
registered care homes where contracts have been suspended. 

I am writing to inform you that the time limit for responding to your
questions needs to be extended. It is occasionally necessary to extend the
20 working day time limit for issuing a response where the information
requested falls under one or more of the exemptions to which the public
interest test applies. The Council is keen to be able to disclose as much
information to you as possible, but believes that some of the information
requested falls within the exemptions at section 43(2) of the Freedom of
Information Act (commercial interests). In line with guidance issued by
the Information Commissioner, I am writing to advise you that I need to
extend the deadline by approximately 20 working days. This extra time is
needed to make a determination as to the public interest. I hope to let
you have a detailed response as soon as possible, but no later than 26
June.

Yours sincerely

Daniel Ellis
Freedom of Information Officer
Governance & Community Services

Tel  : 01273 482913

P  please consider the environment - do you really need to print this
email

This message is intended for the use of the addressee only and may
contain confidential or privileged information. If you have received it in
error please notify the sender and destroy it. You may not use it or copy
it to anyone else.

E-mail is not a secure communications medium. Please be aware of this
when replying. All communications sent to or from the County Council
may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with
relevant legislation.

Although East Sussex County Council has taken steps to ensure that this
e-mail and any attachments are virus free, we can take no responsibility
if a virus is actually present and you are advised to ensure that the
appropriate checks are made.

You can visit our website at http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

 

 

Dear Mr Clinton

 

FOI Request ref  1202 / Clinton / Registered care homes where contracts
have been suspended

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above, which has been
dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your
request and our response are set out in the text boxes below.

 

Request:

 

I would like to know the names of registered care homes for older

     people that hold contracts to provide services to East Sussex

     County Council funded residents, where contracts have been

     suspended (i.e. where the Council has stopped funding placements)

     within the last 12 months because of the contractor’s failure to

     provide satisfactory standards of care.

 

 
Response:

 

The information that you have requested has been assessed as commercially
sensitive and therefore exempt from the requirements of the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000 by virue of Section 43 of the Act. Section 43
FOIA requires a public authority to apply the public interest test when
relying upon the exemption. A public authority can only refuse to provide
the information if it is satisfied that the public interest in withholding
the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.

 

Adult Social Care has developed a Care Governance Framework to monitor and
assess the quality of care services provided by the Independent Sector.
The provision of good quality social care is a key outcome for users,
service providers and the commissioners and this process offers a
consistent approach across service areas.  It utilises the Adult Social
Care Outcomes Toolkit (ASCOT) methodology. The ASCOT measure is designed
to capture information about an individual's social care-related quality
of life. 

 

The Care Governance Framework is overseen by a panel which meets monthly
and consists of representatives from the Contracts and Purchasing Unit,
the Performance and Engagement Team, Commissioning and Operational Teams.
The panel consider information from a variety of sources on the
performance of contracted social care providers and this is analysed and
identifies any key themes in relation to the quality of the delivery of
social care.

 

There is a focussed repine to visiting Care Homes to asses quality and
ESCC mainly work with those with more concerns/higher risks. In the last
12 months planned systematic audits of targeted dementia care homes where
ESCC fund 10 or more residents has contributed to a more preventive
approach to safeguarding and monitoring. Information that feeds into the
process is gathered from  Independent Interviewers(volunteers who visit
care homes), feedback from service users and safeguarding investigations
provide a holistic assessment of a service.  

 

ESCC manage the suspension/lifting suspension process involving care
providers, making the recommendations for the Adult Social Care  Directors
decision; and taking responsibility for informing operational teams and
neighbouring local authorities.  This process largely involves care homes.
Once a Care Home has been suspended no referrals will be made by the
Service Placement Team and if a member of public requests to go into the
suspended home they will be informed of the situation.

 

This is a robust process and protects the public from receiving poor
quality services.

 

The level of competition within an industry will affect whether the
release of information will harm someone’s commercial interests:

 

If the suspension list was to be publicised there could have a negative
impact on the Care Home Market which is currently working in challenging
finical situation. The potential negative publicity on a Care Home could
impact on their businesses in a number of ways:

 

1) Many Care Homes operate at a finical loss during the period of
suspension and work hard to then reach the agreed standards to have had
their suspensions lifted . The publication of historic suspensions could
impact on a Care Home negatively and further impacting  the financial loss
and viability of the business. ESCC works hard to ensure a sustainable
market is in place, thus avoiding Care Home closures and impacting on the
lives of people living the Care homes.

 

2) There are a number of Care Homes who have proposed redevelopments
and/or mergers, and the release of the suspension list would bring into
question the viability of the organisation, again risking the closure of a
Care Home.

3) The adverse publicity could be misinterpreted by a potential purchasers
of a service due to not understanding the regulations and not being fully
aware of all the facts. Therefore vacant beds in Care Homes pose a real
threat to the viability of the business and if the information that a Care
Home has been suspended there will be an impact of increasing vacancies
and a substantial loss in income. This income is vital to maintain the
running of the home to a high standard, to invest in more skilled staff,
to ensure that there are constant improvements made to the internal and
external environments, thereby adding quality to life for all our service
users/clients.

 

Taking all of the above into consideration, I am refusing to release the
requested information to you.

 

 

 

If you believe that the County Council has not complied with the FOI Act
in responding to your request, you may ask for an internal review. If you
wish to do so, please set out the grounds of your appeal in writing to:

 

Philip Baker, Assistant Director, Legal and Democratic Services, East
Sussex County Council, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East
Sussex. BN7 1UE.

or by email to him at [1][email address]

 

Please quote the FOI reference number in any communication regarding this
particular request.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you then
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision
unless you have exhausted the County Council’s internal review procedure
as described in the previous paragraph. The Commissioner can be contacted
at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  [2]Tel: 0303 123 1113.  [3]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Jeremy Coleman

Freedom of Information Officer

Room C3F

County Hall

St Anne's Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE
Phone: 01273 482913
Fax: 01273 481208

email: [4][East Sussex County Council request email]   web: [5]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

 

 

This message is intended for the use of the addressee only and may
contain confidential or privileged information. If you have received it in
error please notify the sender and destroy it. You may not use it or copy
it to anyone else.

E-mail is not a secure communications medium. Please be aware of this
when replying. All communications sent to or from the County Council
may be subject to recording and/or monitoring in accordance with
relevant legislation.

Although East Sussex County Council has taken steps to ensure that this
e-mail and any attachments are virus free, we can take no responsibility
if a virus is actually present and you are advised to ensure that the
appropriate checks are made.

You can visit our website at http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk

References

Visible links
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3. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
4. mailto:[East Sussex County Council request email]
5. http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

Sylvia Rushbrooke left an annotation ()

We the public are unable to get important information that is relevant the law must change as long as we are denied transparency we are denied justice and informed choices and are unable to protect loved ones

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