Home care services
Services we commission as at March 2018
A framework agreement for the provision of home-based home care for all adults with eligible social care needs has been operational from 1 October 2017and runs until 31 August 2021 in Staffordshire (excluding Stoke-on-Trent).
- The home care framework aims to enable service users to remain in their own home for as long as possible and to achieve and maintain their autonomy, independence, personal identity and assessed outcomes.
- Providers are expected to manage complex packages; this may include service users with multiple needs receiving services from a variety of agencies.
- As the council is under increasing financial pressure to support an ageing population, the framework agreement requires innovation and strong partnership working between the council, the provider, service users, care workers, carers, communities and the whole supply chain. It has been developed to try and balance capacity, efficiency, performance and delivery challenges.
- The council has appointed multiple providers across 12 contract zones within which are several ‘capacity blocks’. Capacity blocks have been developed so that all care needs within the geographical area covered by the block are provided by the same provider. Having one provider ensures capacity can be retained and enables walking runs, supports employment for care staff with no vehicles and increases efficiency on rotas. Capacity blocks can benefit from a minimum guarantee per week, enabling providers to offer fixed hours contracts to their care workers.
Contract zones classified as north Staffordshire include the following:
- Zone 1 – East Staffordshire
- Zone 4 – Moorlands north
- Zone 5 – Moorlands south
- Zone 6 – Newcastle
- Zone 7 – Newcastle north
- Zone 8 – Stafford
Contract zones classified as south Staffordshire include the following:
- Zone 2 – Tamworth
- Zone 3 – Lichfield
- Zone 9 – South Staffordshire north
- Zone 10 – South Staffordshire
- Zone 11 – Cannock south
- Zone 12 – Cannock north
- All care packages are brokered through the council’s Brokerage portal, using the council’s preferred electronic monitoring system for the duration of the Framework.
- If a provider is rated by the Care Quality Commission as inadequate, they will be suspended from accepting new care packages but will be able to continue with any existing care packages, subject to quality and safeguarding assurance.
- Pre-purchased rotas (set hours paid for in advance) can be called upon when the council requires additional capacity to meet a surge in demand (e.g. during winter to facilitate hospital discharge).
- Care needs are identified in individual support plans and the provider will ensure the service user and their carer or carers are at the centre of the support planning and delivery process to enable outcomes, needs and expectations to be met in an enabling and efficient manner.
- Individuals may opt to buy their support and care via their direct payments, or a personal budget, or any alternative methods that promote the provision of self-directed support such as individual service funds.
As at 1 March 2019, there were 109 providers within Staffordshire who are registered with the Care Quality Commission to provide home care services; the council has 59 contracts with providers either within the County or out-of-County of which nine are block contracts, as illustrated in the map below.
Home care service zones across Staffordshire
The areas which block providers are contracted for are shown in the section below called More Information About Our Providers.
Commissioning intentions as at March 2018
Home care services are delivered through our contractual arrangements with both capacity block and framework providers. The council intends to work with and place the majority of its business with contracted providers. This is in accordance with procurement legislation and ensures we can monitor providers and the quality of their services. Under the current contractual arrangements, we have commissioned a more standardised service under a consolidated hourly rate for care, which is intended to provide more stability for a market consisting of a high proportion of small and medium enterprises.
It is a Council priority to assure the continuous supply of this vital service across all areas of the county, which means that we will make every effort to ensure that our contracted providers are delivering according to demand. Where this has not been achieved, we will consider making alternative arrangements to meet this shortfall as and where necessary and for as long as this is deemed appropriate. Examples may include using pre-purchase rotas in defined areas to guarantee a level of paid hours to providers or paying an enhanced level of payment to attract supply into parts of the County.
The council regularly reviews how changing demand can best be met. Currently, this includes exploring best-value methods for delivering both non-regulated care and complex care packages, and by growing the capacity of the council’s trading company home care arm, Nexxus Care.
Our current contractual arrangements will expire in 2021. Providers who are interested in contracting with the council in future should register on the e-Procurement Portal Proactis in order to register their interest. Specific engagement about tender opportunities will be carried out through the portal.
Key market messages
The council is looking to substantially reduce the amount of care it purchases from non-contracted providers. However, we anticipate that there are opportunities in this area for providers who wish to develop services for people who pay privately or use direct payments but strongly recommend that any potential provider carries out research to establish the potential demand and where there are any shortfalls in supply. Market position statement intelligence provides the evidence base supporting this programme of work.
As part of the current contract arrangements, the council is committed to meeting regularly with contracted care providers as part of our ongoing engagement and relationship building. We will also endeavour to engage regularly with the wider care marketplace across Staffordshire (digitally and through a range of ongoing events such as the Managers Quality Network Forum and Registered Managers Network and other workshops and events organised throughout the year identified on our ‘ Market Engagement Opportunities’ web page).
We are encouraging organisations to contact us to discuss how we can work with you or act as a consultee, especially if the following apply:
- Contracted providers of home care in need of support to develop their workforce strategy.
- Any providers who are keen to diversify or innovate, e.g.:
- Utilise innovative assistive technology solutions to conduct wellbeing checks, provide medication support etc.
- Diversify their provision to better meet the needs of more rural isolated people with assessed needs.
- Providers who are keen to reconsider their business model to support recruitment and retention of care staff especially in those areas with significant unmet demand (which tend to be rural; in particular those that lie in zones 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8).
- Contracted providers with under-utilised capacity, especially in hard to serve areas.
- Providers who identify packages of care that need re-assessing, including where there may be scope to reduce the commissioned care hours.
- Partners keen to innovate to support older people and people of working age with supported accommodation needs in new models of care; in particular looking at opportunities to expand the current Shared Lives services for these groups.
- Home care providers who are keen to seek further business support.
To support improved recruitment and retention across the home care market place, please note we are encouraging providers to post vacancies through:
- the Care Careers website for providers who are commissioned by the local authority.
- the Care Market Development Team supports ease of posting job search details for applicants and vacancies for providers.
- the find a job recruitment portal (Department for Work and Pensions).
Principles of service provision
The council is committed to continuing the shift towards personalisation and community-based support enabling service user choice and control through the use of direct payments and self-directed support in order to support individuals to live inclusive and valued lifestyles, according to their personal choice. To achieve this, the council aims to:
- Promote a vibrant and sustainable market for the future available to older people and all adults with disabilities and functional mental health issues, which meets people’s needs, is affordable and is of the right quality.
- Offer newly assessed individuals choice and control in respect of where they live and increased options in the types of accommodation available, including alternative options to building-based accommodation or services.
- Support individuals in their own homes to participate fully in the same range of community options as other people, building on individual and community assets.
- Make timely decisions where there is an assessed need and when individuals are unable to remain independent without significant support in the community to place people in building-based accommodation or services.
Challenges in the current marketplace
Nationally and locally, the home care market is under significant pressure. It is struggling to recruit and retain an effective workforce and to sustain financial viability, particularly as unemployment in Staffordshire is currently at a significantly low level. We recognise the challenges for providers that are associated with supplying services in Staffordshire to people with varying levels of need in a large geographical county that includes large rural areas. Under our previous domiciliary care contract arrangements, we experienced a shortage of supply, high staff turnover and variations in quality and price of care provided. The delivery areas, together with the price the council pays for care in the current contract, has been designed for the specific purpose of supporting the market to address these challenges.
Further information on home care services in Staffordshire is available in a printable PDF document.
More information about our providers
Our capacity block providers
As of March 2019, there are capacity block providers in eight of the twelve contract zones in Staffordshire (these are in zones one and four to eight, eleven and twelve).
In zone one (in East Staffordshire), the following capacity block providers are contracted with us:
- Harmony Care Homes (2003) Limited in Branston
- Mears Care Limited in Horninglow, Rolleston and Shobnall
- GP Homecare Limited (trading as Radis Community Care) in Stapenhill and Wetmore
In zone four (Moorlands North), these are:
- Mears Care Limited in Leek East
- Homestay Care Limited in Leek West
- Castlerock Recruitment Group Limited in Werrington
In zone five (Moorlands South), we are contracted with:
- Mears Care Limited in Blythe Bridge and Cheadle
- Castlerock Recruitment Group Limited in North and South Stone
- Harmony Care Homes (2003) Limited in Uttoxeter
In zone six (Newcastle), we have:
- Archangel Enterprises Limited in Central Newcastle, Chesterton and Clayton
- GP Homecare Limited (trading as Radis Community Care) in May Bank and Silverdale
In zone seven (Newcastle North), our capacity block provider is:
- London Care (trading as Custom Care) in Biddulph
In zone eight (Stafford), we hold contracts with:
- London Care (trading as Custom Care) in East and South Stafford
- Nexxus in North West Staffotwelve
In zone eleven (Cannock South) we have:
- Nexxus in Burntwood, Chase Terrace and Norton Canes
- London Care Limited (Custom Care) in Chadsmoor and West Cannock
- Mears Care Limited in Hawkes Green
In zone 12 (Cannock North), these are:
- Icare (GB) Limited in Hednesford
- Mears Care Limited in Rugeley
Our generic framework providers
As of March 2019, the generic framework providers in eight home care zones in Staffordshire are contracted as follows:
Providers can contact us by emailing the Health and Care engagement inbox: