Local care services and jobs saved after Plymouth provider goes into administration


Care services for more than 300 people and jobs for over 100 staff have been saved in Plymouth after a provider went into voluntary administration.

1st Call Homecare delivered social inclusion and 3,500 care and support hours per week for people living in their own homes or in seven extra care schemes across the city.

Since being notified of 1st Call Homecare’s decision to close late on Friday afternoon, our Adult Social Care Commissioning Team have worked closely with local providers Gemcare South West and The Elder Tree to make alternative arrangements for service users affected.

Ensuring continuity of care and making sure 1st Call’s highly valued workforce is retained in the city was a priority for the team, who have already been able to fully brief all 1st Call staff and reassure them that they will be TUPE transferred across to the new providers.

Councillor Kate Taylor, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “This is a really good example of the health and social care system across the city working together to ensure people with care and support needs are supported whilst keeping skilled care staff in Plymouth. We appreciate this is a very difficult time for service users and their families and staff, so I’m pleased we were able to work with new providers to ensure they are supported accordingly.

“We are very grateful that our continuing strong relationship with our existing providers allows for us to ensure that members of the public can continue to receive quality care and support.”

Gemcare South West is an experienced social care provider in Plymouth, delivering care and support services for more than 340 people. It will be transferring all the domiciliary care arrangements that were provided by 1st Call Homecare, including the care and support staff.

Roger Putt, Director of Gemcare, said: “Gemcare South West Limited welcomes the opportunity to assist Plymouth City Council in the servicing of additional personal care contracts both in the community and within seven extra care sites across the city. We aim to transfer all current employees and to maintain the excellent quality of service they have been providing.”

The Elder Tree will now be providing the social inclusion services. Chief Executive Robbie Nairn said: “The trustees, staff and volunteers at Elder Tree Befriending are delighted to be given this opportunity to deliver the social inclusion programme for the extra care schemes. The charity already support over 1,200 beneficiaries across Plymouth through 85 weekly activities at 48 separate locations. We are at the cutting edge of befriending support and we will channel our considerable expertise, commitment and energy to this exciting challenge.”

Councillor Taylor added: “Reducing loneliness and social isolation is a key priority for the Council so we are particularly pleased that such a vital service will continue to be provided by The Elder Tree.”