‘GROUND-breaking’ changes are being made to care services offered to 1,800 people in Rotherham.
Care is to be provided by 15 private companies over the next three years, instead of the nine which used to provide the service.
Rotherham Council has written to all service users about the changes, which will begin on Sunday, April 1.
It believes the changes will result in a ‘more flexible service that is far more responsive to the needs of individual clients and will go beyond personal care provided in the home’.
Special home-care offices have been set up for the handover period, when those affected by the changes - 1,100 out of the 1,800 service users - will be introduced to the new companies which will provide their care services.
Coun John Doyle, Rotherham Council cabinet member for adult social care, said: “We appreciate change can be worrying for some.
“However, we want to emphasise that ultimately, this is being done to provide what we believe will be a much-improved service to people who receive care in their own homes.
“We want to reassure those who will see a change that we have plans in place for a smooth and continuous transition of care.
“We have set up special provision for the handover period and our aim is to ensure those customers who will see a change will be fully informed and will meet their new providers as soon as possible.
“All changes will be made by the end of March, but, for those service users and their families who have concerns, they can ring the authority for information and advice.”
Coun Doyle said there will be continuous rigorous monitoring of the new providers.
He said: “This monitoring will ensure the high quality of care that we have specified will be properly delivered, resulting in the elimination of any companies which fail to perform.
“The elderly and vulnerable are important to this authority and we are determined to get it right.
“By contracting more companies, who will work on local, area-based delivery, we believe service users will receive a better, broader service that is more responsive to the needs of the individual.”