Proposed changes to home care services across Nottinghamshire are being considered at the County Council’s Adult Social Care and Health Committee meeting on Monday (3rd September).
There are currently over 3,000 residents in the county who receive homecare, which includes providing help with activities such as getting up, going to bed and domestic tasks.
These services help people stay independent in their homes for as long as possible and in most cases are provided by independent sector providers.
The proposals will enable the Council to offer a broader range of services to meet an increase in demand and support more people with complex needs to live at home for longer.
Improvements will include an enhanced through-the-night home care service and services that respond to people in a crisis, to help reduce the amount of people who are admitted to hospital in an emergency.
Around £19m a year is currently spent on homecare services across Nottinghamshire and this is set to increase as demand for services continue to rise as a result of more older people needing such services.
Contracts for the 30 current home care providers expire in March 2013. A tendering process will shortly start to secure providers for the next four years.
It is planned that contracts will be awarded on a district basis. This will mean less overhead costs for those organisations and will reduce the amount of money the Council currently spends on managing and monitoring the home care contracts, creating a saving of £865,000 a year.
Working with organisations on a district basis will also make it easier for providers to recruit staff without cars, which is currently an issue when filling vacancies in rural areas.
The providers will be able to sub-contract to specialist organisations where required, to give greater choice and control for people who need help and support to enable them to remain in their own homes.
Coun Kevin Rostance, chairman of the County Council’s Adult Social Care and Health Committee, said: “The proposals mean that we can improve services for people who use home care and help support carers whilst making savings by reducing back-office bureaucracy.
“There will be a broader range of services on offer and the main providers will be able to employ the services of specialist organisations where this is required to meet the specific needs of individuals and carers.”
The Council understands that for many people who use home care services it is important that they have the same carers.
If their current care provider is not selected as part of the changes and they wish to keep the same carers there are two options:
The staff employed by the current provider may be able to transfer to the new provider;
The service user could have a direct payment. With a direct payment people can either employ their own carer or employ a home care agency and the Council can assist with this.
Anyone who has any questions or concerns about the proposed changes or about switching to a direct payment, can contact the council and ask to speak to a service organiser. Residents living in Mansfield or Ashfield call 01623 434074.