Lincolnshire County Council to put £41m home healthcare services out to tender

Lincolnshire County Council has proposed to put 70 home care contracts out to competition, decreasing the number of providers and addressing “cost pressures”.

The council’s Adults Scrutiny Committee will consider a new commercial model on February 25 and the Executive Councillor for Adult Care and Health Services, Children’s Services on February 27.

If the plans are approved, then the procurement process will begin in March and new contracts will be awarded in the summer.

The current Community Support Framework has been in place since October 2011, delivering home care services for older persons and support for people with disabilities.

The framework is due to come to an end on September 30, 2015, by which time new contracts need to be in place. The council says it has a legal responsibility to put the contracts out to competition.

Recommendations in the scrutiny report include:

  • Procurement process for Prime Providers of Older Persons and Physical Disability Home Care based on (12) geographical zones, at a rate of £12.76 per hour for Urban work and £13.05 per hour for Rural work.
  • Procurement for Home Care for Children with a specified rate of £18.67 per hour for urban work and £19.16 per hour for rural work.
  • Procurement for Community Supported Living (CSL) services across Lincolnshire for Adults with a Learning Disability and for a period of 5 years with a maximum rate of £13.30 per hour.

Each year, the spend on home care for Older Persons and physical Disability services is around £23 million, with 3,500 service users.

The total spend on supported living for Learning Disability is around £17.5 million per annum with 530 users, and Children’s Physical Disability costs 77 users around £760,000.

The contracts have been broken down with a view of securing Prime Providers for each allocated zone:

Zones broken down to potential competitors.

Zones broken down to potential competitors.

Pete Sidgwick, Chief Commissioning officer for Adult Care, said: “We have taken some considerable time to develop a new offer for home care contracts, engaging with market providers. Our aim is to ensure people continue to receive the services they need, at a price that is fair to providers and affordable for the council.

“We will be working hard to keep disruption to a minimum. If you receive care at home, the range and type of care will not change. However, some people may see a change in the person or organisation that delivers the services.

“In the procurement process we are looking for contractors to deliver care to a particular geographical area. We believe that this will help the market to meet the rising demand.”

Justin Hackney, Joint Commissioning Officer for Learning Disability, added:”The proposed model for services to people with learning disabilities will be delivered through an approved list of providers which will give flexibility and a continuity of care for those who use these services.

“In addition to Adult Care, the procurement process will seek to award a contract for Home Care for Children. This model of delivery may result in a change of provider for children and young people, but families can be assured that they will continue to receive a service which provides them with the quality of care they require.”