Support for council’s care move

AN alliance of learning disability charities has welcomed a decision by Glasgow City Council to seek new bidders to run services previously operated by the collapsed company Choices Care.

Choices Care went into administration last month, and administrators quickly struck a deal for the Choices Supported Living Service which supports around 40 people with learning disabilities in Glasgow, to be bought by the Mears Group.

However, following a recommendation from social work chief David Crawford, Glasgow’s executive committee decided last week that it could not simply hand the contract over to Mears, which is a large domiciliary care provider operating largely south of the border.

Instead, council chiefs accepted a recommendation to open up the current provision run by Choices Care to other bidders over the next few months.

Choices Supported Living operated in 14 locations in the city, providing services worth about £1.9m a year. However Mears Scotland had not been through the council’s approved provider process and critics say the firm has limited experience of providing services to people with learning disabilities.

A spokesman for the Learning Disability Alliance said: “This is undoubtedly the best of a difficult situation and prevents us seeing people with learning disabilities being traded as nothing more than contracts between large companies.”

A spokesman for the council said: “We have a list of providers who have been fully assessed and approved by the council. It is not acceptable to the council that a provider can seek to sell-on the contract we have with them to another provider.”