Home care provision on the increase as council meets adult social care challenges
Oxfordshire County Council increased the amount of homecare it purchases by 12.9 per cent during 2016/17 meaning ever increasing numbers of people can be cared for at home instead of in care homes or hospital provision.
In common with other councils in the UK, Oxfordshire County Council commissions expert private sector companies to care for people in the familiar surroundings of their own homes meaning they can have their independence and play an active part in their local community.
In March 2016 the council was commissioning 19,732 hours of home care support a week and by March 2017 this had increased to 22,284 a week.
Assisting older people or those with learning disabilities to stay in their own home and receive support they require is a key priority the county council. On March 31 2011 the council supported 1,435 people with long term home care, by September 2016 this had risen by 64% to 2,347.
Kate Terroni, Director for Adult Services at the county council, said: “Providing people with the opportunity to be cared for in their own home is better for them and for the taxpayer. It is more cost efficient than placing people in a care home or in other settings and means the person involved remains with family and friends and does not experience as much change as is involved with moving in to a residential care home
“These results are a tribute to the hard work of the sourcing team, and of operational teams in supporting the move of people to be supported at home.
“We expect it to be a continued challenge to build on this success but we are confident that operational teams, providers, and our commercial and sourcing colleagues are ready for this challenge. With ever increasing numbers of people successfully living longer, the role of home care is only going to become more and more prominent in supporting people to live well in their communities.”
“The council appreciates that the availability of a strong local care home market is very important for these successes to be built on and we are actively seeking to help private sector companies with recruitment and retention of staff.”
The total social care budget for older people and those with learning disabilities in Oxfordshire is £200m. The total amount spent on home care in 2016/17 was £20m.