The efforts of staff to retain services at a popular Newport respite centre, by making it more efficient, could form the blueprint for the way more social care services are run in future.
Following public consultation last year, the Isle of Wight council decided to keep the popular Westminster House respite care services at its base in Newport and to work with staff to enable them to find ways of reducing costs or generating income to ensure the service could be sustained.
The progress that the staff have made so far, coupled with interest from staff in other areas such as The Adelaide and The Gouldings to operate services on a more independent footing, has led to consideration being given to this approach on a wider basis.
In a paper to be discussed by members of the authority’s cabinet on 13 December, options have been put forward to explore whether services could be both run more efficiently and with additional benefits to those accessing the services, if they are run more independently.
Ian Anderson, Isle of Wight Council director for community wellbeing and social care, said: “Local authorities are facing significant financial constraints and need to ensure that services that we operate can remain viable. We also need to recognise that, with personal budgets, people are going to make choices about how they spend money on their care and that they will no longer choose to take up our services if they are either too expensive or do not meet their needs well enough.
“Like any business we therefore need to review the range of services that we offer and ensure we provide good quality care and support that people want, at a price that is affordable and at the same time manage the cost of providing that service.
Our experience with Westminster House has shown that giving staff more freedom to adapt to a changing market and make their own choices about how they manage and develop their services has enabled the service not only to be more efficient but also to offer a wider range of services. The opportunity now exists to explore if this model can be the blueprint for other social care services that we currently operate.”
The paper recommends that the cabinet authorises more work to be undertaken to explore options for the future of directly-provided care services.
It can be viewed on the following link external website.
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