First-of-its-kind social enterprise supporting elderly persons in York

26 Apr 2013 @ 5.42 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

City of York Council’s Cabinet will be considering a business plan for its Community Equipment Loan and Warden Call/ Telecare Service to become an independent Social Enterprise, at a meeting on 7 May 2013.

If the plan is approved, the Enterprise will deliver these services to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, enabling what is a vital service to many elderly people in York to continue, develop and expand. Staff would have a significant stake in the ownership of the Enterprise, with the council continuing to own part of the company. The service would be run with the sole focus of helping people manage their lives and stay independent in their own homes for longer.

The current council run service provides a 24-hour monitoring and response service to some 3,000 customers in York, the telecare service has over 1,600 customers who have at least one piece of equipment installed. The Community Equipment Loan store provides 46,046 pieces of equipment including health and social care products.

If approved, the new Enterprise will not only be the first ‘spin out’ company from the council, but the first of its type in the delivery of these services in the UK.

Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing, Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services at City of York Council said: “This service for the city’s most vulnerable residents is core to the council’s preventative agenda and creating a sustainable and secure future for it is vital.

“Since 2004, the service has experienced 142% growth which is an excellent foundation on which to build its future success as a not-for-profit, ‘asset locked’ social enterprise. As such it will be able to trade, access grants and achieve savings for the council whilst continuing to expand its workforce to meet future demand.

“A social enterprise will give staff greater say and stake in the future of the service, something which is proven to improve employee wellbeing and increase staff motivation, productivity and innovation; providing very real benefits for our residents.”

The business plan outlines the proposed governance of the new Enterprise which will initially operate in shadow form before the new organisation is formally awarded the CELTAS contract. An advisory board would be set up to help support and influence the enterprise – with the council looking for customers, carers and allied health professionals as well as third sector representatives to join this.

The company would continue to be part funded by the council, with expected income from the planned expansion of services and a new private customer telecare offer.

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