Thursday 14th October 2010
By Charley Morgan, Swindon Advertiser
SWINDON Council has set in motion plans to outsource its entire adult social care service.
Last night the cabinet approved proposals to establish a social enterprise to run the service from April 2011.
The company will be responsible for running both the adult social care service – including areas such as day services and domiciliary care – and the community health workers, currently provided by the Primary Care Trust (PCT).
But councillors insisted users of the services would see no change and the same staff would simply be transferred over to the new social enterprise.
Coun Peter Mallinson cabinet member for adult social care, said one of the benefits of the new set up would mean they could bid for grants that would not be available to the council.
“We will be taking staff and experts and moving them across sideways to the social enterprise. Then they will have access to better funding than they would have if they stayed within the council. It is far better to move that way.”
He said the two main benefits were that the staff would have a greater say in the running of the company and the same services would be retained for people in need.
The move was necessary, he said, because the Government is disbanding the PCTs and none of them will be able to provide services from April.
The cabinet also voted through plans to change the way the children’s services department operates.
Coun David Renard, cabinet member for children’s services, said they could not change to a social enterprise because the law states that the council cannot delegate the protection of children.
He said the council’s partnership with the PCT on children’s services had been ‘extremely successful’ over the past four and a half years.
But he said something had to change because the PCTs were being wound up and so the PCT staff working in children’s services would simply be transferred over to the council.
Labour group leader, Coun Derique Montaut, suggested that the council was planning to outsource services to the ‘private sector’.
Council leader Coun Rod Bluh insisted the adult social care service was not going to be outsourced to the private sector.