Cabinet approved a proposal to re-tender all existing home care services including the in-house reablement service at a meeting on Monday (December 2).

The council’s in-house reablement service aims to maximise people’s independence, which can mean they no longer need ongoing support.

It accounts for 6.5% of all home care and provides less than 1,000 care hours per week, according to a report by the council’s director of adult care, seen by cabinet members. The council’s service employs 90 staff, with a budget of £1.9m.

The cost of the council’s home care is more than double that in the independent sector - £37 per hour as opposed to an average cost of £14.60, but a reablement service is always more expensive than standard care.

The proposal is to re-tender all existing independent home care services, totalling £8.9m, plus the £1.9m cost of the in-house service.

“Domiciliary care and reablement will continue to be available to service users and delivered by the current in house staff who would move to another employer but continue to use their specialist skills as they do now,” the report added.

Cabinet spokesman for adult services and equalities said a review was needed, but the process would focus on service improvements and the needs of customers.

Council leader Councillor Jamie Adams said: “We receive an excellent service from both in house providers and external providers. This is a decision we have to make in order to balance our budgets.”