Plans to transform how care within people’s homes is delivered will be discussed by Hull City Council.
As the contract for the delivery of homecare within people’s own homes comes to end on 31 December 2021, a number of options are being explored for the future of this vital service.
The local authority has a statutory duty to provide care and support to vulnerable people and communities under the Care Act 2014. Part of this service is also geared towards enabling people to live safely within their own homes for as long as possible, which is what the community wellbeing service can provide.
And in a report published this week, plans have been outlined for the community wellbeing service to replace the existing homecare structure, which focuses on delivering a person-centric form of care by a long-term contract provider.
Councillor Gwen Lunn, portfolio holder for adult services at Hull City Council, said: “Our priority is to ensure we can provide quality support at a consistent level to our vulnerable residents in their own homes, and this is what this report sets out.
“The wellbeing service will work towards a model which is flexible towards people’s needs. It will also stabilise the fragile service provider market with a long-term contract that will ensure they are able to provide improved terms and conditions for this valuable workforce.
“It is hoped this move will keep care jobs locally, so that local people care for the people locally and provide a better care for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“This may initially result in increased costs, but we’ve assessed how this model has worked both regionally and nationally, and believe it is the best way to move forward so that we can deliver care to a high standard.”
Under the current framework of homecare provision, care providers are paid based on actual hours of care and support delivered on a minute by minute basis. This is measured and monitored through an electronic call monitoring system.
Throughout the term of this homecare framework, additional cost pressures on the care provider market have impacted upon delivery with some providers going out of business and others struggling to recruit and retain staff and meet the capacity required by the council.
Under the new contract, service providers will also be required to proactively work towards supporting the city’s aspirations for a highly motivated, skilled, flexible and confident workforce that is enabled to deliver high quality care to the people of Hull. It will ensure that the excellent care provided by care workers is recognised and valued. Providers will be required to offer local employment, investment in staff training, development and apprenticeships, whilst adhere to the principals of the Unison Ethical Care Charter for Homecare.
The initial contact will be awarded for five years, with the option to extend for a further two periods of 12 months each.
The report will be discussed at the Health and Social Well-Being Overview and Scrutiny Commission before a decision is made at Cabinet on Monday 22 February.