William Eichler 05 February 2018

Birmingham Council denies it will ‘suddenly’ move residents to new care providers

Birmingham City Council has denied accusations they will move residents receiving social care services should their provider not complete the tender process.

The chief executive of Care England has criticised the Commissioning Strategy for Social Care which was approved by Birmingham CC’s cabinet last December.

Professor Martin Green insisted the new strategy means that should providers of social care for people under 65 years old not complete the tender process, the council will have to stop making new placements and ‘will move existing service users to a new contracted provider.’

He warned providers must be allowed to take decisions that ensure the stability of the service and they should not be ‘pressurised’ to submit tenders ‘they do not feel comfortable with.’

‘We need to know urgently if current residents and their families have been warned by the council that they may move them from their homes,’ Mr Green continued.

‘Moving residents is not to be under taken lightly and it must be done with maximum advocacy and sensitivity.’

In response, a spokesperson for Birmingham City Council said the accusation was ‘a little unfair’ and insisted the council would not ‘suddenly’ move anyone.

‘We have to have robust contracting arrangements with our providers and this shouldn’t really be an issue for most providers,’ said the spokesperson.

‘If some choose not to re-tender then it is not the case that we will suddenly be moving citizens on 1 May.’

‘Current performance of these services means that too many vulnerable citizens receive care that is not good enough, and with providers leaving the market at a high rate this risk would continue,’ said the spokesperson.

Cllr Paulette Hamilton, cabinet member for health and social care, said: ‘The challenges facing us have never been greater and we are under no illusions as to the scale of the changes that need to be made.

‘So we have to work with providers, service users and partners to drive up quality of care, and to this end we will be investing in the care sector over the next three years in order to make the market sustainable.’

Cllr Hamilton said there were a number of measures the council would take to improve their care services, including commissioning services locally, moving to a fixed fee approach, and no longer contracting with ‘inadequate’ providers.

‘By 2021 we should have a health and social care system that has more independent providers achieving the highest standards of care, working within their local communities to promote health and wellbeing, with a reduced need for commissioned services,’ she added.

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