Town hall proposal to out-source social care scheme

Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall

Wigan Council is considering out-sourcing a section of its social care provision in a cost cutting exercise, according to a town hall report.

A £300k saving per year could be made by handing over responsibility for extra care services to a private contractor, council bosses will be told.

The report, which will be presented to the ruling cabinet next week, says the move could have an impact on jobs but “minimal redundancies may apply”.

Extra care is provided at three borough residential locations, helping those with mental health needs requiring varying levels of support.

Handing the sites over to private firms would result in the council’s in-house service being decommissioned, the report adds.

A consultation on reforming the service took place earlier this year.

The annual cost of the service operated by the council is £782,000 and “the proposed external recommissioning of extra care with specialist external partners is anticipated to deliver cost efficiencies and enhanced value for money”, the report adds.

And any savings would contribute to the £5.1m savings targeted from the council’s Deal for Adult Social Care reforms, officers will tell cabinet members.

The report reads: “Use of an external provider within extra care supports the council direction in focusing its in-house resource on the more complex care and support. “Preliminary market consultations have indicated a high level of interest in potentially tendering for a reformed, creative well-being model of care and support within extra care.

The borough’s three extra care housing schemes are Eliot Gardens in Worsley Mesnes, Elmridge Court in Lowton and Wickham Hall in Beech Hill.

A total of 42 roles are currently spread across the sites although 10 were vacant at the time of the consultation earlier this year. They include estate staff, cooks and support workers.

The report adds: “Over the 90 days period seven members of staff have secured new positions within the council or left the organisations whilst 22 members of staff have indicated they would exit the council if given the option of early retirement or voluntary redundancy.”