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Agenda item

Commissioning and procurement of a new delivery model for Home Care and Support Services

Cabinet Portfolio:                 Adult Social Care and Health

Strategic Directorate:           Adult Care, Housing and Public Health

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which provided an overview of the current home care and support service in Rotherham, particularly the state of the local market in terms of ability to meet current demand for service and the pressures faced by providers. The report highlighted the case for change, before focusing on the key principles and approaches that would underpin a new delivery model for home care and support services. Those principles were proposed to be incorporated into a new service specification produced following a co-production exercise with a range of stakeholders. The intention was therefore to procure a new model of home care and support through a competitive tender process, with alternative service arrangements in place from November 2019.

 

Members sought clarification in respect of how the service would recruit, train and retain young people to make this an attractive career option. In response, it was explained that conversations were ongoing with local colleges in respect of promoting health and care diplomas and reference was also made to the career routes through the NHS which would enable carers to progress to becoming nurses.

 

Assurances were also sought in respect of how consistency of standards would be achieved across the borough with different providers. In response, it was explained that dialogue would be ongoing with providers as consistency was really important. The Council’s contract compliance function would ensure that there would be consistency in respect of training, recruitment and safety, as it was part of the authority’s statutory role to ensure that the local market was well developed and properly managed.

 

Members commented that the report read more like a specification of requirements rather than a process of system design and sought assurances that the Target Operating Model was sufficiently developed to use as a basis for contracts in the coming years. In response, the Strategic Director confirmed that the new operating model would cover the whole service and providers needed to be thinking differently, which would represent a cultural challenge for them given that the new model required new ways of working. Specifications and contracts would be drawn up with new providers to build in flexibility so that the Council could make changes as required.

 

Further assurances were sought in respect of the buy-in from frontline staff for the proposals and it was confirmed that they had been involved in the core design of the proposals.

 

Members sought assurances that risks arising from Brexit which may impact on workforce numbers had been considered. In response, it was confirmed that the challenges posed by the exit from the European Union in respect of workforce in the care sector required national consideration and response. There were concerns regarding the fragility of the home care market, but the model proposed was designed to address systemic issues and develop the attractiveness of the sector with a career path for younger people to follow.

 

It was confirmed that the contracts were anticipated to be in place by November 2019, however the procurement process for this needed to commence in April 2019. On this basis, Members agreed that the Health Select Commission should receive an update on performance outcomes from the contract after twelve months of operation in November 2020.

 

Resolved:-

 

1.    That Cabinet be advised that the recommendations be supported.

 

2.    That performance outcomes in respect of the contracts be reported to the Health Select Commission in November 2020.

  

Supporting documents: