WORCESTERSHIRE county councillors have given their recommendations for the future of adult social care in the county, after a discussion in cabinet recently.

The council has agreed with a number of recommendations for the future of 14 services currently being offered, with several of them being transferred to alternative providers.

Specific decisions are still to be made over the future of particular services.

Councillor Sheila Blagg, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “The council is predominantly a strategic commissioner, and so we will only provide services directly where there is no viable alternative. I think it important, at the outset, to reassure people who are eligible for adult social care, that we will continue to meet their needs.

"In fact most adult social care in Worcestershire is already provided by external organisations and we have held a number of market engagement sessions, which have demonstrated that external providers would be willing and able to take on our in-house services.

"We are committed to expanding the market for adult social care to allow greater choice and control for service users, and more opportunities for the voluntary sector, commercial organisations, as well as service users, carers and staff to get involved in providing services. This is in line with national policy and the requirements of the Care Act.

"I know that any changes always bring concerns and worries but any transfer of services will be subject to detailed development plans that service users and carers will be part of. I want our standards of care to continue to be maintained through rigorous monitoring."

Director of adult services and health, Richard Harling, added: “In line with the council's new operating model we have been developing options and recommendations for the future of our in-house adult social care provider services.

"As we give those people eligible for adult social care greater flexibility about how they use their personal budgets, we will need both current and new providers to evolve their business models so that they can respond to the needs and preferences of individual users who will be purchasing services directly.

“It is vital to stress that where people are eligible for adult social care the council has a legal duty to meet their needs and will continue to do so. We will be working closely with service users and carers throughout the transition to ensure that we manage the impact of any changes on individuals and their families. Also, as the council develops its strategic commissioner role, rigorous monitoring to ensure high standards of care are maintained, will be critical.”

To view the full report, visit worcestershire.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=131&MId=298&Ver=4.