Shake-up in way thousands in Norfolk get homecare sparks questions over cost

Norfolk County Councillor Cliff Jordan, who raised concerns over the cost of a shake-up in how homec

Norfolk County Councillor Cliff Jordan, who raised concerns over the cost of a shake-up in how homecare is provided. - Credit: Submitted

A shake-up in the way up to 5,500 vulnerable people in Norfolk get homecare has moved nearer, but councillors have questioned how it will be paid for.

Up to £50m is invested each year providing support for vulnerable people. Social services bosses at Norfolk County Council are keen to change how they commission companies which give that care.

They admit lessons have been learned from the contract with Care UK. That was cancelled after unsatisfactory care for a number of people in Broadland.

Officers put forward proposals, discussed at yesterday's adult social care committee, to change how it commissions homecare. That would see more spent on homecare and less on residential care.

The council will also look at spending more on assessing people for reablement - to keep them in their homes where possible and suitable.

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Cliff Jordan, Conservative county councillor for Yare and All Saints, said independence was very important. But he said: 'The problem I have is about this being delivered within the current budgetary constraints.

'We know there is growing demand and more people being pushed to our services. How can we possibly keep up with that?'

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Catherine Underwood, the council's director of community health and social care commissioning said investing in prevention was more cost-effective than residential care.

The committee also endorsed nearly £1.6m of savings in the department's budget. But the Conservatives voted against, voicing concerns that £1m from Norsecare, which currently goes into a reserve to help build housing with care schemes, would be shifted to the adult social services revenue budget.

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