District's end-of-life care services to be expanded

PUBLISHED: 12:30 03 June 2016

Caring services in North Somerset are to be extended.

Caring services in North Somerset are to be extended.

Katarzyna Bialasiewicz photographee.eu

Continued pressure on North Somerset's care services has led the council to approve a provider's plans to recruit more staff and improve care by increasing its number of hours.

Access Your Care provides end-of-life care and home support to people across the district and its specialist end-of-life care packages are jointly commissioned by North Somerset Council and the North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The council’s executive member for adult social care, Dawn Payne, has approved plans which will allow the firm to offer an additional 161 hours of care to people across the district for the next six months.

According to Cllr Payne, the additional hours and staff will enable more people in need to choose how they wish to spend their final days.

She told the Mercury: “Towards the end of life, being in the right place can mean so much. It encourages a peaceful, comfortable atmosphere, and offers privacy and support during an emotional time.

“North Somerset Council works very closely with our North Somerset CCG partners and independent sector providers, to ensure we can support the individual to be where they want to be.”

A council spokesman said the Access Your Care contract had only been extended on a six-month basis so the council and the CCG could constantly look at the sector’s changing demands to ensure its response would continue to meet people’s needs.

However, the authority did not rule out reviewing this stance in the future and looking again at whether a long-term care provision would be the best thing for the area.

The spokesman said: “These block contracts have been purchased on a short-term basis as the care market is constantly changing.

“The council has commissioned the extra hours in anticipation of the contracted domiciliary care provider’s capacity increasing.

“The council is currently recommissioning its home care services, including its end-of-life provision.

“This is with a view to increasing the market’s capacity by building strategic partnerships with fewer providers, allowing for consolidation of work and potential sharing of costs between providers.

“The council is open to reviewing the success of this, specifically relating to end-of-life provision, and potentially exploring a longer-term offer. The council works closely with the CCG to jointly commission domiciliary care services to support end-of-life provision.”

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