Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) has today (18 July 2016) successfully launched Devon Cares, a completely new approach to home care in northern and mid Devon, which brings together care providers and gives them the backing of the NHS.
The move makes NDHT the first NHS trust to enter the home care market.
Devon Cares does not deliver care directly, but works with a network of providers to organise and manage care. The service encourages providers to work collaboratively with each other and with the NHS to solve quality and capacity issues.
The service shares the Trust’s vision to deliver high-quality care that supports people’s health, wellbeing and independence.
The Council announced the decision to appoint the Trust as ‘prime contractor’ for home care in northern and mid Devon, under its Living Well at Home contract, in March 2016. Since then, work has been underway to get the new service in place.
Through this contract, care workers and other staff will benefit from improved working conditions, as well as more opportunities to develop their skills through training and a clearer career path.
The new service will allow the Trust to influence the quality of the increasing amount of care given outside of its hospitals and to ensure care providers are working to support people’s health and ability to live independently in their own homes.
Andy Ibbs, director of strategy and transformation for Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are really excited to be working with local domiciliary care providers to continue to improve home care across northern and mid Devon. As far as we know we are the first NHS trust to enter the home care market.
“We believe working with care providers will allow more joined-up care between home and hospital. It will also allow us to address many of the care capacity problems and blockages facing the wider health system in Devon.”
It is hoped that being part of Devon Cares will boost recruitment and retention in the local home care market and give providers greater certainty, so they can plan for the future.
Andy Ibbs added: “This is a really exciting opportunity for the Trust, for our providers and for our patients.
“This is a completely new approach to domiciliary care that we hope will bring real benefits to people in Northern and Mid Devon.”
Devon County Councillor Stuart Barker, Cabinet Member with responsibility for adult social care, said on behalf of the three commissioning authorities:
“Good quality community-based care is essential to help support vulnerable people to live independently at home for longer. Our new contracts are an important step in helping to improve the quality and supply of personal care services, and to bring greater pride in the sector.
“Care workers do a really important job for the people of Devon and we are investing more into these contracts to ensure that they will be paid for all the hours they work, including travelling time, and that they receive at least the national living wage. It will also encourage support and training for staff to ensure a good supply of quality care services for the future. These improvements extend to care workers employed under contract to Devon Cares.
“Devon Cares is a key partner in helping us to deliver better services, and by working closely with the many existing local providers we hope they can help us to drive improvement, increase efficiency and boost supply across the county.”
Devon Cares, along with its network of providers, manages domiciliary care in the following areas:
Zone 1: Bideford, Northam, Great Torrington and Holsworthy
Zone 2: Ilfracombe, Lynton, Lynmouth, Barnstaple and South Molton
Zone 3: Tiverton, Crediton and Cullompton
For a full list of providers working with Devon Cares, please visit: http://devoncares.co.uk/our-people/our-providers/
A procurement window is now open for any providers that would like to join the service. Please note, providers will need to be part of our framework in order to deliver care in zones 1, 2 and 3.
All of our procurement documentation will be uploaded to the EU Supply portal and you will need to register on EU Supply as soon as possible.
Please go to http://www.eu-supply.com/ to register and follow the instructions. Should you encounter any problems please contact our procurement team on 01271 349587.
The new service is part of a successful bid to Devon County Council, NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group for a new Living Well at Homeb contract aimed at giving a vital boost to personal care services across the county.