Croydon Council plans to bring the care of 237 older tenants in special sheltered flats back under its direct control by ending a contract with the existing private provider.
From today (30 August) tenants of the six special sheltered blocks across the borough will receive letters informing them that the council proposes to take back the provision of care from January.
Special sheltered blocks allow vulnerable older residents to maintain their independence in their own self-contained flat while also receiving a greater degree of security and service, including care and support from on-site staff.
The six schemes are:
• Frylands Court in New Addington
• Southsea Court in Broad Green
• Toldene Court in Old Coulsdon
• Brookhurst Court in South Norwood
• Freeman Court in Norbury
• Truscott House in West Croydon
The care contract was awarded in 2013 to Care UK, and this was subsequently subcontracted to Mears and now London Care Ltd. Care UK’s contract with Croydon Council for residential and nursing care will not be affected.
The council intends to continue to improve and invest in these special sheltered blocks once they are back in-house, from upgrading communal areas and furniture to installing new shared kitchens and revamping community gardens.
In line with legislation covering the transfer of staff, the current provider’s employees will be able to transfer automatically onto the council payroll. Those that do would be guaranteed the London Living Wage. Transferring existing staff to the new in-house contract will minimise any disruption to the tenants’ existing care arrangements.
Feedback from residents has indicated that they want improvements ranging from a greater choice of activities to better communal meals.
The contract change is the latest in a series of council moves in recent years to bring formerly outsourced services back in-house, including libraries and grounds maintenance.
Councillor Jane Avis, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for families, health and social care, said: “Supporting our residents to be happy, healthy and more independent is a council priority, and these proposals to bring this contract back under our control allow us to be more hands-on in the day-to-day running of services for these residents.”
Councillor Simon Hall, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “From providing more entertainment and activities to improving open spaces, food and care, we are already planning ahead to make improvements at these blocks and I look forward to an exciting new chapter for these vulnerable residents.”