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Disability care services in Rhondda Cynon Taf could be transferred to external providers

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (Pic: Google)

SUPPORTED living services for adults with a learning disability in Rhondda Cynon Taf could soon be transferred to independent providers.

Cabinet will soon consider commissioning changes that if agreed would see the small percentage of council-provided services transfer to external providers which the council said will ensure continuity of care and job retention for staff.

Supported Living Services provide 24/7 supported accommodation for adults with a learning disability, supporting small numbers of people who live in shared houses across Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The council said each person who uses the service has their own tenancy, enabling them to continue living in their local communities.

The council has a small in-house service that provides care to around 10% of the total number of people that receive Supported Living in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

This includes 27 people supported by 54 staff members in nine houses.

The council said that the much-larger external market provides the vast majority of the overall provision – around 90% made up of 245 people being supported in 78 houses.

At their meeting on Monday, October 23, cabinet members will consider an officer report that recommends transferring the council’s remaining nine supported living services to new external providers, through the re-tender of the council’s current contract and this would start from April 2024 if agreed.

Councillor Gareth Caple, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “The Council has substantial experience and a good track record of commissioning Supported Living Services from external providers.

“With the current 10-year contract due to end this year, the retendering process is already underway – to start the new contract from April 2024.

“The changes being considered by Cabinet, if agreed, would transfer the small percentage of Supported Living Services currently provided in-house to the external market – which already provides around 90% of the service.

“Officers advise that the changes would ensure best value and future sustainability of the service, without reducing its availability to help people who rely upon it.

“If the changes are agreed on October 2023, we will engage with everyone affected – including service users, their families and staff members. They will receive regular communication about what the changes mean for them, along with being kept up-to-date on how the transfer process is progressing.”

The council said that all eligible staff members who currently provide the in-house supported living services would be transferred to the new specialist provider, under TUPE, transfer of undertakings (protection of employment) arrangements to ensure that contractual terms and conditions of employment are protected going forward as well as membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme.