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New contracts to boost domiciliary care across city

Improvements to the care and support provided to some people in Swansea in their own homes are set to be phased in from October.

The changes should also help to increase the support available so more people can remain in their own homes and communities as they grow older.

Swansea Council has been looking at ways it can strengthen domiciliary care to ensure that there are enough providers to cover homes in all areas of the city and that in the future the system has enough capacity to cope with increased demand due to an aging population.

Following extensive consultation with service users and partner organisations to establish what is working well and what can be improved the council has re-tendered contracts and these are set to take effect in the autumn.

New contracts have been awarded on a closer geographical basis aimed at cutting the distances carers travel between clients and ensuring rural areas are as well covered as those in the city.

The majority of people who receive domiciliary care will not see any changes to their providers.

Plans are in place to ensure that there is a smooth transition for those people who will switch providers to ensure that their needs continue to be met and indeed the care they receive is improved.

No one will see any reduction in the hours of care they receive as a direct result of this process.

Swansea Council has been aware for some time that the rates it pays for domiciliary care are low and these changes will also help address this.

Cabinet Member for Care, Health & Ageing Well, Mark Child, said: "We know how valued our domiciliary care service and how it helps many people to live independently in their own homes.

"As a public body, by law we have to go out to tender on these contracts at regular intervals, but we have also used this as an opportunity to look at the services we provide and improvements that can be made.

"It is no secret that Social Services budgets are under pressure but this is not about saving money - in fact we expect the changes we are making to cost more.

"As they grow older, more and more people want to remain in their own homes and we are want to make sure that we strengthen the service to ensure there are enough providers with enough well-trained staff to help them to do so."

Swansea Council will be contacting those who will see a change in provider in the coming weeks and if people do not hear from the council it is because they will not see any change.

This re-tendering process is purely for external providers of domiciliary care for older people and those who provide respite care for older people.

Other carers who provide mental health, learning disability and other forms of care are not affected by this change.

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