Night care services reduced to one

Nurse on a home visit to a patient
Nurse on a home visit to a patient

People who need night care will soon have to rely on only one centre, as Sheffield City Council plan to reduce services from two to one. 

The current services are separated by the Night Time Visiting Service, run by the council, and the Roaming Nights Care, operated by Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group. 

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. 

In the report, Jayne Ludlam, executive director for people services, said: “No individuals will have their existing service reduced or ended due to the new contract. The service provider for at least some individuals may change, depending on the outcome of the tender, however it is deemed preferable to communicate any changes once a conclusive outcome is known, rather than create any unnecessary concern or distress by sharing partial information.”

Some of the reasons given for the change include:

- both services experienced lower demand at different times of the night 

- the services are ‘not particularly efficient’, with SCCG falling below their contractual requirement

- available activity data ‘strongly suggests’ that the service can be delivered with five, instead of six in total, rounds per night

Ms Ludlam 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.

The report 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.”

The new service will be in place from April 2019, and the contract will be for five years. 

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