Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 12th March 2015
Title of Item/Report
Scrutiny Review of Home Care
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented the Adult Services and Health Select Committee findings following the Scrutiny Review of Home Care.

The review considered the commissioning and provision of home care across all client groups.

Following consideration by Cabinet an action plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how approved recommendations would be implemented detailing officers responsible for action and timescales.


1. The Council review the NICE Quality Standards for Home Care and check against local practice when published (expected mid-2015), ensure consideration be given to including them in the next specification, and report back on this work to Adult Services and Health Select Committee as part of the monitoring process.

2. The Council consider the fee level ahead of the 2015 commissioning process to ensure it supports a sustainable high quality service, within the available resources.

3. a) The Council work with commissioned providers to ensure that wherever possible zero hour contracts are not used, taking into account best HR practice, to ensure due consideration is being given to the use of minimum guaranteed hours contracts for staff;

b) The Council consider providing a guaranteed minimum level of home care hours to providers, taking into account expected demand and activity levels, whilst ensuring service users are able to exercise their choice of provider.

4. Participation in the Home Care Quality Standards Framework process to be made a contractual requirement for home care providers in the next contract.

5. The outcomes from the Home Care Quality Standards Framework be reported to Adult Services and Health Select Committee on an annual basis, as part of the framework for monitoring the quality and safety of local care services.

6. The Council take forward discussions with the Regional Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and regional Care Quality Commission (CQC), in order to ensure that Local Authorities receive early notification of any issues of concern identified during CQC inspections of Adult Social Care providers, and ensure that consistent procedures are in place across the region.

7. The Council examine procurement options so that not all of the commissioned home care service is procured at the same time. This would mitigate risks by increasing: stability in local service provision, the scope to support other models / pilot approaches, and the opportunity to develop a greater range of providers in the Borough.

8. a) The Council should continue to work with and engage the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to further develop its services in this area of provision, including non-personal care support where appropriate, and this should include facilitating the development of mutual service providers in the Borough;

b) emerging good practice examples of VCSE sector provision be reported to the Committee as part of the six-monthly monitoring process.

9. as part of the monitoring process, an update on all the issues identified in the report and recommendations be reported to Adult Services and Health Select Committee in six months.
Reasons for the Decision
The report presents the findings of the scrutiny review that took place as part of the agreed work programme for 2014/15.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 20th March 2015

Date of Publication: 16 March 2015

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