Professionals and Practitioners

Changes to care at home services arranged by Hampshire County Council

5 February 2016

Hampshire County Council has made changes to the way care at home services are managed for those who meet our eligibility criteria and have chosen to have their care services arranged by us. From April 2015, 11 new providers were set up to deliver the service.

All care and support staff will be employed by one of these providers. The new providers include some of the providers we have used before.

Also, because of legal rules which apply in this situation, staff working for providers we have used before are allowed to have their jobs transferred to one of the new providers.

So from April 2015 the changes may result in:

  • some service users having new care and support staff coming to their home
  • but other service users may see no practical change at all

Keeping service users informed

We wrote to all service users before the change to the new agency to tell them:

  • who their new agency is
  • when the change is happening

New name: Hampshire Care at Home

The new care at home service will be called “Hampshire Care at Home”.

If you have questions about the changes please contact us.

Reasons for the changes

The money that the County Council receives from the Government is being reduced. At the same time, the care needs of our aging population in Hampshire are increasing.

Because our current service had contracts with over 100 providers, it was difficult to be sure they all provide the right quality and reliability of service, at a consistent price.

We want to make a big reduction in the number of providers we use – down from 170 to about 20. By using just a few providers we will be able to build stronger working relationships with them. This will help us to improve the quality of their service. It will also help us better understand the challenges the providers sometimes face.

By working with a much smaller number of providers we will be able to monitor the quality of care more effectively so we can check and take action if necessary.

The new service will also introduce a standard hourly rate for care and support services that will be the same across the county for all the new providers. We are doing this to make quality the basis for competition, rather than price.

The new standard rate has been set at a level that will allow providers to properly reward care staff.

How we chose the new service providers

Adult Services followed a detailed legal process to select the providers to provide the Care at Home service. All of the providers are approved by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

Direct Payments

Direct Payments are payments made to you or the person you look after so that you can buy care and support services for yourself. Direct Payments aim to give you more flexibility and choice in how your services are provided.

A decision to award direct payments takes place after an assessment by the County Council. If you are currently receiving services you can ask for a Direct Payment instead.

If you receive Direct Payments your obligations include:

  • keeping records to prove how the money was spent
  • if you use the payment to pay for a care worker, you are their employer and you must undertake all the legal responsibilities that go with that

New service providers from April 2015