Scottish Borders councillors met behind closed doors to approve the details of the relationship between the council and the new care company, SB Cares. They also agreed the appointment of the council’s depute chief executive (place) Philip Barr as interim managing director of SB Cares, and SBC financial services manager Debbie Collins as its financial director.
Come April 1, this year, SB Cares will be providing: homecare, residential care homes, extra care housing, day services, Bordercare and the Borders Ability Equipment Service.
These are all services that have been the council’s responsibility and with all front-line staff being moved over to the new company under the same terms and conditions, the hope is that service users will notice very little change in the level of care they get.
Scottish Borders Council will be writing to all clients later this month to explain what is happening and staff will have new name badges showing the SB Cares logo.
Councillor Frances Renton SBC’s executive member for social work and housing said: “Our priority is to ensure that service users experience the same high standard of care delivered by the same carers that they currently receive.
“Going forward there is scope for SB Cares to look at providing additional services like housework or shopping but initially it will be business as usual.”
Those additional services will need to be paid for, however, and part of the reason for transferring adult services to an arms-length company is to be able to raise money by providing and charging for services the council can’t currently provide, plus achieve savings of £5.6 million savings in social work over the next five years.
“People requiring a service will still need to go through the normal assessment process with social work to make sure they are given the services they need and are entitled to, but the quality of care they receive on a day to day basis will remain the same,” promised Councillor Renton.
A recruitment process is about to begin to appoint a chair for the SB Cares board and other board members, with identified relevant skills, will also be sought.
Councillor Renton added: “If anyone would like more information, they can speak to a member of staff or contact the SB Cares Implementation Project on 01835 825080 or at: [email protected] so that any questions they have can be answered.”