Dorset

Fears raised over Dorset council's adult care plans

Concerns have been raised about a council's plans to create a trading company to provide adult care services.

Dorset County Council wants to create a local authority trading company (LATC) to provide adult care amid ongoing budget cuts.

The council said the plans would enable more people to receive social care and would provide "vital savings".

But Unison has expressed fears about how staff will cope with the potential extra business the plans could create.

Ken Attwooll, assistant branch secretary at Unison, said: "The county needs to change the way it operates and what it's doing but that doesn't necessarily involve a local authority trading company.

"In terms of capacity of that company, capacity of staff, if they generate extra business who is going to service that, who is going to do the work?"

The LATC would provide the same service the authority offers currently but would allow it to generate revenue by providing care privately, the council said.

Currently, there are restrictions on the care the council can provide as a local authority, including for those who receive direct payments - money provided by social services to pay for care.

Council staff working in adult social care and support would be transferred over to the new organisation with their existing working conditions.

Jill Haynes, the council's cabinet member for adult social care, said: "We don't want to sell off our care services, and this business plan for the LATC demonstrates how the council will retain control of these."

The business plan will go before the council's cabinet for approval on 22 October.

The council hopes the company will launch during the 2015/2016 financial year.

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