New standards for home care in Plymouth

New standards are to be put in place in Plymouth for people who require care at home.

Plymouth City Council is working together with NHS Northern, Eastern, Western (NEW) Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to drive up standards in domiciliary care. Council Cabinet has agreed in principle to a new improved contract, at its meeting on Tuesday 11th November.

Under the proposed new contract, which will incorporate home care, rapid response, dementia support and integration with health where necessary, there will be a number of minimum standards:

  • All home visits will last a minimum of 30 minutes
  • Rapid response service to provide care within two hours where identified
  • All staff will be paid at least the Living Wage
  • Care staff will be paid travel time between each visit
  • Only those staff who request zero hours contracts will have them
  • Full induction, and high quality, ongoing supervision, training and appraisal for all staff

Councillor Ian Tuffin, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “We are delighted to have approved this new contract which will provide home care services that are person centred and promote independence, choice and control for the individual.

“Too often we hear of poor quality care in the news but this new contract shows that both the Council and the local NHS are determined to drive up standards in the city. This is good news for both those receiving care and those who work in the local care sector.

“The new contract will aim to be flexible and innovative in our response to people’s wide ranging needs. We want to help people to live independently, stay healthy and recover quickly from illness, and have the best quality of life possible, irrespective of illness or disability.”

Fiona Phelps, head of partnerships commissioning for Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This new contract is an excellent example of partnership working between local commissioners to ensure individuals receive a consistent and quality service. This supports our commissioning intention of ensuring access to high quality sustainable services to care for people at home.

The next step will be to award the new contract to the successful tender, with an aim for a new service to be in place from April 2015.