Worries over the future of wardens and help for vulnerable people living in Grantham

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There is growing concern among both residents and staff at the effect the new Wellbeing Service will have on adult social care provision when it begins on April 1.

The Lincolnshire Wellbeing Service aims to increase the number of people who are able to live independently through support and technology at home, but the Journal has been contacted by numerous sheltered housing residents left unsure of the level of support they will now receive, as well as by worried staff who say they are receiving contradictory information about their future.

One of the residents affected is Peter Clawson who lives in the Riverside sheltered housing complex.

He said: “There are elderly people terrified of what’s going to happen if there is an emergency.”

Under the new streamlined service housing support currently provided by South Kesteven District Council will be delivered by an alternative provider arranged by Lincolnshire County Council.

South Kesteven’s head of housing and neighbourhoods, Ian Richardson, said: “Our focus now is to support the county council in making the transition as smooth as possible.”

Staff are reportedly concerned about their future employment as contracts change hands. According to SKDC, the 40 members of staff at risk are covered by Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment regulations and should transfer to the new provider.

Head of service for adult care at Lincolnshire County Council Ruth Cumbers said: “A number of changes are being made to support services which help people live independently but these are not being cut.

“In fact, we have commissioned a new service that better meets residents’ needs.

“It has been designed to keep people safe in their own homes and will include things like minor home adaptations such as grab rails, along with Telecare equipment and monitoring.

“We do not provide wardens although some service providers currently use wardens to provide the support services we fund. The support we paid the wardens to give will still be provided through the new Wellbeing Service and through different providers. It may mean that support is given in different forms and will also include a 24/7 emergency response service.

“The new service will be open to everyone who needs it, not just those in sheltered accommodation.”