Posted: Wed 24th Feb 2016

Adult Social Care Services to remain In-house

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 24th, 2016

Neath Port Talbot Council’s adult social care provider services are to remain in-house, but must become more competitive if they are to survive. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Council’s Cabinet members made the decision when they met earlier today (Wed 24th February). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Faced with a choice between two alternative models for delivering the services, Councillors decided that they should move to an In-house Business Unit. The other option was to set up a new Council owned, arms-length company and transfer the services to this. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Under the new in-house model Homecare and Day Services will be organised in the same way as a limited company, with finances treated on a Profit and Loss Account basis. This will enable the Council to determine their true cost. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In order for the model to succeed, the services will need to be much more competitive. Within 18 months, the hourly cost of the Home Care Services needs to reduce to around £18 per hour, the current cost is estimated at almost £34 per hour. A significant reduction in casual sickness absence is also critical. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The main advantages of this model are that the staff will remain in the Council’s employment. In addition, the Business Unit can compete for Direct Payments on an equal footing with other providers and will do this based on quality rather than price. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In approving the in-house model, Cabinet also authorised a number of measures for evaluating its success. These measures will contribute to regular Business and Competitiveness Reviews. In the event of the services failing these the
Director of Social Services, Health and Housing has been authorised to take a further report to Members seeking immediate conversion of the services to Limited
Company status. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr. Ali Thomas OBE, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The Council is striving to protect services and jobs in these difficult financial times. We are committed to keeping services in-house where possible, but in order to do this they must become much more efficient and competitive. In terms of our Adult Social Care Services, it is important now that staff work with managers and councillors to deliver the rapid change that is required.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The next steps will be the development of a plan and timetable for implementing the new model by no later than 31 March 2017 ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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