On Wednesday 14 June Labour led Milton Keynes will establish a devolved choice based home care service. This will give older and disabled people who live their own homes a better service. £26.4 million will be invested over the next 4 years.
Milton Keynes Council provides a ‘complex needs’ home care service directly to the most vulnerable residents. This is a directly provided service. It is a long standing service recently applauded in a peer review for its quality.
The Council also provides ‘general needs’ home care service to older and disabled people. These services have long been provided by independent home care organisations.
In February 2016 Labour led Milton Keynes Council adopted the UNISON Ethical Care Charter. This requires higher standards and improved staff conditions for care workers employed by providers of home care services. For contractual reasons it legally applies only to new contracts.
From September 2017 the Council is funding a new quality driven home care service based on four devolved or geographical areas. In each area, home care services will be provided by three different independent providers. (12 providers in total) Each will meet the UNISON Ethical Care requirements and service users will be able to choose which provider to use.
Cllr Nigel Long
Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care said, “We are strongly committed to supporting older and disabled people stay in their own homes in the community and have control and choice over the service they receive. Our new devolved service will be delivered by key partners who are signed up to the UNISON Ethical Charter. This is a huge investment by the Council in the provision of high quality home care services.”
The service will also provide home care to people with ‘Continuing Health Care’ needs. This will be funded by the NHS. It marks a shift to greater integrated health and social care services.
Cllr Nigel Long concluded, “We are working closely with the NHS to bring services together. The investment of £26.4 million in home care is good Value for Money as it will reduce hospital admissions and enhance the independence for older and disabled people and the quality of care they receive.”