CCS Disability Action coordinators guilty of poor practice

With coordination charged at $46.00 per hour – CCS Disability Action may need to crack down on poor practice by some within the organisation.

A lack of communication among coordinators, poor management, and a lack of responsibility has led to some clients being left without their entitled support hours.

The Real Michael Pulman understands that a woman in Hamilton was previously left with less than half of her allocated support each day. The woman was entitled, by way of funding based on her needs assessment, to over 50% more of the support she was getting on a weekly basis.

Reasons for the lack of full support hours are believed to be on availability of support workers.

The situation has since been rectified, but problems with the coordination department continue to be at an all-time high.

According to CCS Disability Action’s Memorandum of Understanding with its clients, coordinators are to take responsibility for the organisations policies and protocols that ensure a quality delivery of service to their clients.

These protocols are across all teams of support within the organisation; including Youth & Adult and Vocation services.

Sources have informed The Real Michael Pulman that some coordinators have been found guilty of ‘passing the buck’ following mishaps that have resulted in people being left either without support at all, or with an agency carer as a last-minute replacement.

More to come.

Will better pay for care workers result in a better service?

Pay equity comes into being from the beginning of July – but the price will also go up for people who need support.

The Government said that the $2billion settlement wouldn’t just include workers in the Aged Care sector – and yet this seems like the most plausible area to start. But for the weekly cost of living in a rest home or care facility, costs will no doubt rise as a result of higher pay. According to the Government, increases in funding will occur across the Health and ACC budgets.

For a long time now, New Zealand’s elderly have paid some very good money, often for poor service in return. The quality of caregiver, you’d hope, will increase as a result of a higher pay packet. The disability and aged care sector could see a rapid rise in employment rate as people now seek the job due to this higher pay.

Is this all to the benefit of the clients? Well, having more care workers on the floor in a rest home is a great place to start. But there is no promise that each individual shift will see more people working at any one time, and this is something that needs to be addressed.

You’d hope that a higher paid  worker would result in a happier, and ultimately, better support worker in the process. However, you can have the greatest worker in the world, but if they have too much on their plate all the time, then the quality of care for individuals won’t improve.

So where does the Service Provider fit in among all this? A lot of Service Providers rely on funding from Ministry contracts, so you’d think that those under the MoH will be able to pay their support workers more.

But seeing all this being implemented and signed off on by July 1st seems a stretch for most Service Providers; especially the ones struggling to balance the books already. The conversations, surely, must have begun already surrounding what happens from July 1st.

Remember – the Government have moved to slam the door on future claimants as well. The fight is far from over, but in the meantime let’s try and attract the right care workers for the right positions across the board. Easier said than done, I know, but if you can get that right then it will go a long way toward enriching the experience for both the care worker and the client.




Residential Living: About people or profit?

Residential Services are good for the disability sector, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon, but does a person receiving funding for their support needs really have an active voice in the decisions that are made?

The majority of Residential Services run under the system that has existed in determining disability supports for a long time now.

Service Providers take a large portion of the persons Supported Living Payment per week, and the Ministry of Health pays the remaining costs that a person has to pay to live in a Residential Service. Continue reading Residential Living: About people or profit?

Disability Service Providers punish the lesser evils

In an area of the disability sector that sees concern after concern brushed under the carpet, when it comes to the potential harm of public image, the hammer is quick to come down to bury the nail.

Residential services provide 24/7, home-based care to disabled people and on the whole, providers do a great job, but a provider has many, many different strings to its bow.

Those strings include support workers in services, team leaders, service managers, area managers and so on.

The client, from a business perspective, is underneath all this.

The Real Michael Pulman has been made aware of a situation where a service provider was about to welcome a new client into its service, but a breakdown in communication, led to the client’s transfer (with transport provided by the service provider) being delayed.

This, in turn, made the service provider, as an organisation, look bad in the eyes of the new client themselves, and their family.

Quick action was taken, and the staff member responsible for the incident is due to be reprimanded.

But, as mentioned earlier, many concerns and complaints that clients receiving services have never reach the ears of management, and certainly never see such a swift action taken.

The disability sector is rife with different services and providers, most of which all provide a similar kind of product, and money, like any business, needs to be made. Organisations need to look to be making a difference, and the good thing is, almost all of them do, it just doesn’t get noticed by people because the world of disability is not in the public eye in fact, far from it.

The point?

A simple transfer delay doesn’t require such heated and swift action, much of which is unfair to the individual support worker, as compared to other serious concerns that has been raised time over to team leaders in individual services and gone no further.

It hasn’t gone further because those team leaders don’t want their own individual image and credibility to be damaged in the eyes of their own management, but this doesn’t seem to be open for discussion.

Maybe service providers need to lay off blaming their staff and allocate better resources to a sector that is run 24/7, not just in office hours.