THURROCK Council is set to build a “bespoke” service for people needing domiciliary care as it prepares to award a new ten-year £115 million care contract reports the Local Democracy Reporter.
The council is looking for a contractor for its domiciliary care, enablement and out-of-hours services to take over when the current contract expires in March 2025.
Thurrock currently spends approximately £8.6million on externally commissioned home care services and in-house provision, Caring for Thurrock.
The council hopes to move away from a time-and-task method where services are delivered in short time slots and focus on completing personal care tasks.
The council has been piloting a small-scale trial of providing a more tailored approach where care is provided by a wellbeing team according to an individual’s needs.
Speaking at cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Cllr George Coxshall, portfolio holder for health, adults’ health and community, said: “We’ve tried the new method in the existing contract to create these teams which provide bespoke and more personalised solutions. What we are trying to do with this tender is to work with providers in the market.
“Members may have experienced time and task where it doesn’t work. We’re not providing bespoke solutions to residents as they present them. It demoralises them.”
If approved by council the system will not be implemented overnight. Cllr Coxshall added: “As much as we piloted and became a leader in our wellbeing team model we can’t run the risk of rolling it out. The pilot which we’ve been really successful with, has only been a pilot.
“What we are looking to do over ten years is work with providers in the market to build and learn and as we go forward with the contract the model evolves and we can move to our end goal, what we know will work but bring the market with us rather than run the risk of destabilising it to where the provider of last resort, the council, has to pick this up.”
The council has been training staff to provide a range of help to people in their care.
Cllr Coxshall said: “We are providing staff the freedom to create and co-produce with residents. We’re training staff to administer insulin so if someone is diabetic and in years to come may not be able to administer their own insulin they aren’t waiting for a community nurse to do it.
“A social worker can do it and that is a really big change and will change the lives of residents. You build relationships. You don’t just have one carer coming in. You start to build relationships. The resident knows who is coming into the house.”