Herefordshire Council is helping people who need help with personal care to live independently, by setting new and lower prices for the cost of home and community support.
The council wants to change the way home and community support services are provided so that people have more choice and control about the support they receive to help them live safe, healthy and independent lives. Following a review of services and consultation with existing providers, the council set a new maximum rate of £13.98 per hour* and invited tenders from providers who wish to work with the council and deliver these services.
As a result, the majority of existing providers together with some new providers, have signed up to an agreement with the council to provide good quality services at the revised rate.
This means that people who choose to remain with council providers and who contribute to the cost of their care, may see a reduction in their service charge.
Some local providers chose not to tender. For people receiving services from these providers, the council is arranging for them to receive a Direct Payment.
Direct payments work by the council paying the person who needs care, the amount of money they are entitled to for their support, at the new agreed rate. The person then pays the provider themselves, topping up the direct payment with any costs above the agreed rate together with any assessed financial contribution.
Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “This is all about making sure people, and the council, pay a fair rate for the services they receive. It is also about giving people more choice and control over how they use the funding they are eligible for to help provide that support.
“We want to move away from traditional time and task care packages where a person would receive, say 30 minutes of domiciliary care twice a week. By agreeing a fairer price, and giving people options to stay with their existing provider, they have more choice about how they purchase their care needs.”
The new arrangements began on 2nd June 2014. People affected by these changes have been re-assessed to make sure the right level of home and community support is put in place to help meet their needs.
*Following consultation with providers, it was agreed to vary rates to cover costs when the person requires a shorter visit and to offer any required financial support to cover the costs of delivering services in very rural areas, providing specialist care.