Plymouth City Council is to set up its own care company so that it can step in and ensure the city’s most vulnerable continue to be looked after if their care provision is stopped at short notice.
The council has approved setting up a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC), which can ensure adult social care remains in place if a care company is not able to continue providing its services regardless of the reason.
Over the past two years, there have been a number of times when care service providers have told the council at very short notice that they cannot continue to provide care.
This has often affected some of the most vulnerable people in Plymouth and their families, leaving them facing a period of worrying uncertainty while alternative services are put in place.
The council-owned company will be not for profit and will mean that high quality care services can continue to be provided at short notice.
Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities have a statutory responsibility to ensure the needs of people are met, even if their care provider is unable to provide services due to business failure.
Office for National Statistics figures show that the over-65 age group will continue to grow in Plymouth and is likely to make up 22.7 per cent of the city’s population by 2034.
Figures also show that there are 31,164 people in the city that have a long-term health issue or disability, with the council believing that demand for care and support services is likely to continue to increase in the future.
Commenting, Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Councillor Kate Taylor said: “When the market fails for whatever reason, time is of the essence to ensure care continues to be provided to those who need it.
“We’ve had some really concerning cases where vulnerable people have had their care service stop at short notice and it can be really stressful for them, their families and the staff involved while alternatives are worked out.
“Having our own company gives us the option to quickly step in and ensure everyone continues to enjoy high-quality care and be looked after in the manner they deserve.”
The council aims to have the new company set up by June 2021.