Latest Public Sector News

09.07.13

Council sets up trading company to deliver adult social care

A new trading company set up by Buckinghamshire County Council to deliver adult social care is to begin trading by October.

The council says the new model will “protect services against future cuts by Government and give those who need care and support from adult social care more security and stability”.

Many local authorities are choosing to create new delivery vehicles for previously in-house services, a trend discussed at last week’s LGA annual conference, and Buckinghamshire’s follows a similar model to many others: 100% owned by the council, but operating independently.

Buckinghamshire Care will initially provide services including day services, respite, employment and vocational services and laundry services, the council said, plus a new reablement service.

Any profits made will be invested back into council services. 

An advantage of having care delivered by a trading company is that residents with direct payments, currently prevented by law from purchasing services directly from the council, will be able to buy from it. 

Cllr Patricia Birchley (pictured), cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said the changes will give service users much greater choice and control.

She called it a “major and exciting step forward” and added: “We believe that having a separate company which is still owned by the council is the very best solution for those who use our services.

“As a trading company has far more freedom to operate on a commercial basis, it will be possible for it to offer a wider range of services than the current arrangements allow.”

The council said it modelled the new trading company on those in authorities like Wokingham, Essex and Northamptonshire.

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