Care changes will enable elderly to stay in own homes

Care By Us takes over support at home services in Dacorum. Left to right: Colin Horne, Charlann LeFort, Janet Fredericks, Cllr Colette Wyatt-Lowe, David Baxter, Alison Horne
Care By Us takes over support at home services in Dacorum. Left to right: Colin Horne, Charlann LeFort, Janet Fredericks, Cllr Colette Wyatt-Lowe, David Baxter, Alison Horne

Herts County Council has announced the winning companies that will provide its homecare services.

From April of this year, the new ‘support at home services’ will replace homecare services and provide a wider range of services to help older people to continue to live in their own homes. In Dacorum, the service will be provided by contractor Care By Us.

Each year, the local authority commissions over 3.8 million hours of homecare to support more than 5,000 vulnerable adults across the county.

The new providers including the firm covering Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted and Tring residents will work closely with service users and their families, as well as health, local voluntary and community sector groups, to provide a ‘more personalised programme of care’.

Colette Wyatt-Lowe, county cabinet member for adult care and borough councillor for Grovehill West said: “The new service will give older people who need assistance from the county council more say in the care they receive in line with the Government’s new Care Act.

“Rather than an offer of a set amount of time or set tasks from a care worker, the older person, along with their families, will decide what support is appropriate for them and when they need that help.

“This new arrangement enables older people and vulnerable adults to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, which is not only what they want to do but it also saves taxpayers’ money.”

The new providers are currently working with the county council to ensure a smooth handover of services for April 1. By June, all the agencies contracted to provide support at home services are expected to show they meet the new Care Standards for the county, which includes paying care workers more than the national minimum wage as well as payments for travel and training.

Click here for more information on the new support at home service.