Legal threat over council’s tendering

Five home care companies have appointed solicitors to prepare
possible legal action against Wirral Council over the way it
handled a contract tendering process.

The companies lost out when the council reduced its roster of
care providers for the next five
years, but have now enlisted Liverpool law firm Rex Makin to
represent them.

Solicitor Ian Carruthers said he would outline his clients’
concerns to the council, but he was also considering taking the
case to judicial review over Wirral’s tendering process and the way
it consulted care providers and service users.

Wirral reduced its roster from 23 care companies to six main
providers and eight smaller, specialist organisations.

Kevin Miller, the council’s director of social services, said he
was confident in the tendering process. He added that it was
“completely open” and involved “extensive consultation” with
service users and existing providers.

“The upshot is that we have achieved affordable quality,” he
said. “This has never been an exercise in providing care on the
cheap – in fact, far from it.”

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