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Modernising Home Care Services (02/12/09)
The Chairman of The Highland Council’s Housing and Social Work Committee, Councillor Margaret Davidson, has restated the Council’s commitment to the enhancement of care at home services across the authority. She has also acknowledged it will take a little more time for the full programme to be rolled out in all areas.
Councillor Davidson says the Council is investing heavily in home care services in recognition that modernising care at home is a critical element in the enhancement of all community care services.
She says it may take a little time for the benefits to be seen due to changes in the way services are provided across the Highlands but has assured the public of the Council’s commitment to helping people stay in their own homes for as long as is practicable.
She said: “To date, the Council has invested an additional £3 million in home care and is investing a further £1 million in 2010/11. This means that big improvements have been made, with 10,000 hours of home care being delivered every week to around 2,300 people. That involves an increase of 1,800 hours every week over the last 18 months, and increases of up to 15% in evening and weekend provision – which is when people often need it most. There have also been enhancements in home carers’ rates of pay.
“We appreciate the value of home care to individuals and their families. We know that most people want to be supported to live healthily and happily in their own homes, rather than move into residential care. We also know that most people want that support to help enable them to do things for themselves, not to have everything done for them.
“There is still much to be done though, involving a further stage of improvements. We are increasing the capacity in the independent sector and streamlining and speeding up assessment processes. We also need to fully develop and put in place new and sustainable staffing and management structures within the local authority.
“At the present time, we are in the middle of the change process. In many ways, this is the most challenging of times. Some new systems have been put in place in some parts of the authority, but additional and improved services have still to be established in other areas – indeed, we now know that to achieve this objective, there will have to be further developments across all of the Council area. We will need to have discussions with staff and the trade unions about this, and we will need to consult with service users and their representatives.
“It is likely to take some time before further improvements are seen everywhere. There are some considerable challenges that will have to be addressed. It is important that we establish modernised home care services that meet complex needs and assist people to be supported to live at home. We are committed to delivering this across all Highland communities.”