Reverse e-auctions to buy care for elderly.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Blogg, Jun 1, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. So, an on online system where potential providers can bid only downwards to provide stuff like wheelie bins and stationary.

    You know, stuff that is disposable and where quality does not really matter that much. Good idea. Saves money.

    So what would be the chances be that some genius says:

    "I know, we will use the same system to buy palliative and dementia care for patients leaving hospital! Cheaper is better!"

    Low I would like to have thought because of the screaming bloody obvious risks in doing so without basic checks on the bidders and what they might be able to provide for such a price.

    But oh no. Not in this poxy country.

    Elderly left at risk by NHS bidding wars to find cheapest care with reverse auctions

    "The NHS in London has held a series of 30 “reverse e-auctions”, where bids are driven down instead of up, for £195 million worth of contracts for palliative and dementia care for patients leaving hospital.

    Reverse auctions to buy care for the elderly are relatively new and The Times has found that standards and quality have deteriorated rapidly where they have been used.

    In one case a company that won a local authority’s reverse auction in the North East of England was struck off the national register of approved providers weeks later because the palliative care it offered was of such poor quality. The results of another auction in South Lanarkshire to buy domiciliary care were so disastrous for elderly people that the Scottish Parliament is to hold an inquiry into whether they should be banned.

    Companies who took part in the London NHS auction told The Times that they were asked hardly any questions about the quality of palliative or dementia care that they provided, beyond whether they complied with minimum standards.

    During the e-auction, companies were invited to reduce their prices for one bed with round-the-clock specialist care for one week by £8 a time.

    The NHS and local authorities are under increasing pressure to drive the hardest bargain they can for services, such as care for the elderly, which they buy in from the private sector. Reverse e-auctions, though, were intended to be used to drive down prices for basic goods such as office furniture, IT or stationery, which have limited and exact specifications and where quality is not a serious concern. Critics of care e-auctions say that those who hold them are aware that driving prices down affects the quality of care.

    Richard Jones, director of adult social services for Lancashire County Council, said that he would never use an auction to buy care. “If you put your providers into an auction, pushing them to a lower and lower price, somebody is going to lose out, and the losers in this case are vulnerable elderly people and their carers,” he said. "
  2. I've got a real problem with those who bid the least getting a tender - any tender. It hasn't really worked so far has it?
  3. Oddly enough it has not. Witness the sad fate of Harry Denton, 81, former chief clerk to the Scottish paymaster

    "During December AJB staff failed to get into her father's home on 15 occasions, mostly in the morning.

    The Barnsley-based company claims Mr Denton would often refuse to allow carers into his home but Ms Anderson, an Open University lecturer who lives in Cheshire, said this was not the case and her father was asleep when they called.

    Mr Denton's weekly programme of 21-and-a-half hours care from last September was partly funded by Barnsley Council's social services department, which recommended AJB to the family.

    The pensioner had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and had poor mobility resulting from an unsuccessful knee replacement operation.

    He was proud and independent but occasionally clashed with some of his carers, who regarded him as aggressive.

    One carer alleged Mr Denton threatened him on separate occasions with a knife and a gun. The police were called but both allegations were later discredited."

  4. What happened to the carer who made the allegations?

    Oh I know - nothing :evil:

    What a bone system!