Brighton and Hove’s Health and Wellbeing Board will be asked next Tuesday 2nd February to approve the commissioning of improved home care services for the city’s residents which meets the Council’s pledge to deliver higher standards in home care.
The delivery of the Ethical Care Charter, which was developed by Unison and was part of the Labour’s manifesto for the city, will mean that care providers contracted to provide home care will be expected to:
- Pay staff a real living wage – currently set by the Living Wage Foundation at £8.25 per hour (well above the Government’s planned National Living Wage of £7.20)
- Move away from 15 minute visit slots which are considered impersonal and too short to care.
- Ensure that there is greater chance of service users having consistent home care staff
- Meet training and staff retention expectations
Speaking before the meeting Labour’s Lead Councillor for Adult Social Care, Cllr Karen Barford, said:
“Signing up to Unison’s Ethical Care Charter was only the first step to ensuring that we improve the quality and sustainability of home care provision across the City. We know that residents and care workers alike want to see an end to visits that can be too short and feel too impersonal.”
“We have been able to prioritise funding to deliver the Ethical Care Charter within our first budget and deliver on a key manifesto pledge. This change will mean better care and experience for our service users. Just as importantly, it means that care workers who provide key personal care will receive fair pay. Without a living wage, we know that the majority of care staff are increasingly unable to make ends meet despite working hard for the most vulnerable in our city. In order to be able to continue providing care we need to be assured that providers can recruit and retain staff by providing safe working environments, fair pay and appropriate training.”
“This decision shows that we refuse to enter a race to the bottom in the provision of care services. We will continue to work hard to find the means to improve services to the most vulnerable in the city despite the huge budget crisis needing to be dealt with head-on.”
If agreed by the Health and Wellbeing Board on Tuesday the procurement process will commence, with the new contract in place from September 2016.
The home care services will be provided across the city in ten geographical areas. Additionally special services for those living in Extra Care supported housing schemes and for the homeless will be established citywide.