A fresh look at home care services

Published on: 02 Nov 2016

PEOPLE who receive home care are being encouraged to have their say about proposed changes to the way home care services are provided in the future.

South Gloucestershire Council commissions about 16,000 hours of community-based support a week including personal care at home and one-to-one support to help people access services and facilities in their local community.

The contract the council has with providers comes to an end in January 2018 and the authority wants to use this opportunity to review the way help is provided in order to meet the growing demand for care services.

A consultation has begun and the council wants to hear from people who receive home care as well as their families, carers, health professionals, care providers and community groups.

The council is exploring the option of appointing a single lead provider for each of its six key geographical areas,  rather than multiple small providers, as at present. These areas, known as ‘clusters’, are centred on GP practices. It says recipients of care would benefit through shorter waiting times, more control over the way their care and support is provided, as well as closer working between their GP, support provider, district nurse team and others. Providers would also benefit from closer working, improved security and more flexibility about how care is delivered.

All service users would have the opportunity to access ‘reablement’ services which provide packages of care to help people develop their confidence and recovery after, for example, a prolonged stay in hospital. At present this service is only available to those who would benefit most from being able to manage on their own again.

Anyone not wanting to receive support from the selected care provider for their cluster would be able to opt for a care provider of their choice which they would be able to pay for by having a Direct Payment or an Individual Service Fund.

Councillor Jon Hunt, chair of the Children, Adults and Health committee, said: “'Happy, healthy and at home' is the ambition of South Gloucestershire Council’s Better Care Programme. We have one of the healthiest populations in England with good health and care services and dedicated staff. But we believe we can do better. 

“We want to give people more say over the help and support that they receive so that their needs drive what we do. We also want to enable care providers to deliver this support more efficiently which will enable us to spend our resources with a better focus on people’s needs.”

The consultation will continue until January 5, 2017. The council wants to hear from service users, their carers and families, health and care professionals, care providers, community and voluntary groups and the public.

Further information is available at: https://consultations.southglos.gov.uk/consult.ti/communitybasedservices/consultationHome

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