‘Improved quality and fairness’ for integrated night care

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Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group have commented on a decision to scrap two night care services, combine resources and reduce the number of rounds.

The current services are separated by the Night Time Visiting Service, run by Sheffield City Council, and the Roaming Nights Care, operated by SCCG. 

Both provide support during the night with pressure care, personal care and toileting, with two care workers travelling together to visit people across the city. 

The plans would see both of these close and resources combined for a joint Care at Night service, run by both the council and SCCG.
Council officers said the change will save money and make the service more efficient.

Mandy Philbin, chief nurse at NHS SCCG, said: “NHS Sheffield CCG has been able to agree in principle to combine the night visiting services. We believe that by working with Sheffield City Council we can improve the quality and fairness of this service for these patients by using the Sheffield pound more wisely.

“We are still working through our business case and no final decision on the model of care has been agreed. This plan will need to go to our governing body for approval.”

The potential savings from integrating the services are not yet know but the council alone currently spends £342,218 annually on its Night Care Visiting Service.

Jayne Ludlam, executive director of people services at the council, added that any potential savings from reducing the number of rounds from six to five will be put in reserves in case an extra round is needed and claimed no patient would be negatively affected by the change.

In the report she stated there had been ‘extensive consultation’ with service users, workers and other stakeholders.

Ms Ludlam said: “There is no anticipated overall negative impact on the population in the long term. There may be some short term disruption to individuals should their care company not be successful in the tender, however in such circumstances, it is normal for workers to transfer to work for the new provider under TUPE regulations; so for the majority of people, the same person will continue to deliver the care and support regardless of who wins the contract.
“Overall though it is expected the service will have a positive impact on the people who receive the service as well as their carers now and in the future.

“The contract will be monitored very closely during the first few months to be sure that the capacity is adequate and that the new service is meeting contractual expectations including delivering highly flexible and personalised support which changes according to the person’s needs on any particular night.”

Mike Simpkin, of Sheffield Save Our NHS, said the current services seem to be working well but was concerned the council’s report did not reveal how much would be saved in the process, or how savings would be achieved, despite the council saying it was not a cost-cutting exercise.

Mr Simpkin added it might be unsettling for the workforce when staff were transferred, the rigorous monitoring proposed in the report might make working conditions more difficult and staff wages may even be affected due to the reduction in rounds.

The council’s cabinet unanimously agreed to push forward with the plans and the new service will be in place from April 2019, the contract for which will be five years.

The plans will be discussed at a cabinet meeting next Wednesday, October 17.