New west Leeds pilot home care scheme for vulnerable people rolled out in £5.7m contract

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A pilot scheme will seek to improve home care services for vulnerable people after a £5.7m contract was awarded.

Two care providers are set to provide the service over 18 months in three west Leeds council wards – Armley, Bramley and Stanningley and Farnley and Wortley.

Be Caring and Springfield Home Care Services were chosen following a tender process by Leeds City Council.

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They will take over home care contracts from existing providers under the Community Health and Wellbeing Service (CHWS) pilot, staring in September.

A council report said: “The contract will test an innovative approach to home care that aims to achieve better value for money and improved services that will support people to live more independently at home for longer.”

An employee talking to an elderly man at a retirement home.An employee talking to an elderly man at a retirement home.
An employee talking to an elderly man at a retirement home. | AFP via Getty Images

The time it takes to allocate new care packages would be reduced, and care teams would deliver more consistent and flexible services, the report said.

It said: “Technology will be introduced throughout the pilot to help reduce hospital admissions and assist quicker hospital discharge.”

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Travel time between home visits would also be reduced and recruitment opened up to non-drivers.

Pay would be increased with the introduction of a shift allowance.

The report said: “At the moment, a worker is given a set of visits to undertake which has a travel allowance built into their roster.

“If the care provider is not able to plan a run with consecutive calls, a care worker may have some down time that they do not get paid for, yet the down time is not sufficient to return home or do something else.

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“This means care workers can, for example, be at work for nine hours but only get paid for eight hours.”

Paying for the whole time care staff are at work, including breaks, would increase the hourly rate from £23.91 to £26.22 per hour.

A contract worth £5.73m was awarded for the two providers to deliver the pilot, co-commissioned with Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

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The report said people would be supported in moving to their new care provider with a dedicated phone line, e-mail and drop-in sessions.

It said: “This includes an exception process to consider individuals for whom a move would not be suitable, on a case by case basis. “

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