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Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Council Takes Next Steps To Become Commissioner Of Social Care

Written by eGovMonitor

Devon County Council has taken the next step to becoming a fully commissioning organisation for adults' social services by inviting interest from other professional agencies to run services on the Council's behalf.

Interest is invited from independent, not for profit and voluntary sector care agencies to work with the County Council and its NHS and local District Council partners.

Like most local authorities, Devon County Council intends to buy all its services and care for older people instead of directly providing it themselves. It already buys 90% of residential care, 70% of domiciliary care and 40% of day care from the private, voluntary and not for profit sector. This move would see the remaining 'in-house' provision moving to other Government vetted social care agencies. But Devon County Council would maintain overall responsibility for the services.

The services affected will include domiciliary care services currently provided by the Council directly, and the Council's own residential homes. Services to clients who currently receive domiciliary care from private agencies under contract with the Council will remain unchanged.

County Council staff working in the homes and services will have the opportunity to transfer to the new provider with their terms of employment protected. This means that it is highly likely that front line staff will continue to work in their current services. Recognised Trade Unions are already involved with all stages of the transition.

The Council aims to complete the transition within an 18 month timeframe.

Councillor John Rawlinson, Devon County Council's Executive Member for Adult and Community Learning services, said: "Most of our social care for adults is already provided on our behalf by professional care agencies, which shows that we don't have to deliver services directly ourselves to ensure good quality.

"By buying good quality services from other agencies, we can spend less on administration and more on the services that people need. Everyone currently receiving services will be kept informed of developments and we will be involving stakeholders fully in the decision making process."

Interest is invited from local and national organisations.