Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire council considers private care option

Lincolnshire County Council is considering the creation of a private company to take over responsibility for home care services.

Social care for adults in Lincolnshire would be transferred entirely into the private sector.

Essex County Council has already transferred its adult social care services to a private company.

Lincolnshire County Council is only considering the option but believes it could raise standards of care.

'Backward step'

Councillor Graham Marsh said the county had not yet decided to go private, but added: "It is at the very early stages... but clearly we are looking to see if this model would benefit the people of Lincolnshire."

Opposition councillors said councils should provide services to the people who pay for them through council tax.

Councillor Marianne Overton, council opposition leader, said: "I think that would be very much a backward step. I think it is important that at least some of the provision is provided by the council - at least in a small part - so there is something to compare with - and we can negotiate from a position of strength because you know what you are talking about."

The county council provides some of home care services with its own staff at present and still owns eight home care centres.

The council has said the homes are "not fit for purpose" and need upgrading.

Under the Essex model, the council still owns the firm that provides the services, but it takes over the task of commissioning and delivering care services to the elderly.

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