HEALTH and social care bosses have responded to criticism of their decision to end the contracts of three Care at Home providers.

The North Ayrshire health and social care partnership (HSCP)'s contracts with care providers TLC Scotland, First Homecare and Delight Supported Living will end in June.

The HSCP hopes to recuit staff from the three firms to maintain continuity of care.

But those in need of home care can still continue with the care provider of their choice

Earlier today, two of the care providers hit out at the council's decision, claiming it has caused anxiety and stress for their clients.


A North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: “We fully understand that any change such as this may cause some concern for the people who receive these critical supports.

"We are aware that people will have developed good relationships with the staff who work for the current care provider(s) and we would like to provide reassurance that we are working with the three affected care organisations to minimise disruption for our service users.

"The current contractual arrangement ends in June 2024, however as early as next week representatives from our Health and Social Care Teams will be commencing a programme of visits to every person in receipt of care that is affected by this change."

The spokesperson added: “These HSCP staff have a wealth of experience in supporting people with their care arrangements and will be able to explain in detail to the people affected what this change could mean for them.

"During this visit, staff will undertake a holistic assessment of the person’s care needs to confirm the level of support that they require. They will also discuss the options available to people under the Self-Directed Support Act, which enables people to make choices on how they wish their care to be delivered.

"This will include the opportunity for people to utilise Option 2 of Self-Directed Support, which is known as an Individual Service Fund. This is where North Ayrshire Council will arrange the preferred method of support but allows the service user to decide who they would like to deliver their care services.

"Choice may not be possible in all cases and will be dependent on whether the chosen care provider continues to operate in North Ayrshire once their current contract with the HSCP comes to an end.

"Where service users continue to seek Option 3, where the choice of care provider is arranged by the local authority, this will move to be delivered by the in-house care at home team.

“Staff who are employed with the affected Care Providers, and work in North Ayrshire, will be protected by TUPE regulations and as such will be offered employment in a caring role with the HSCP’s in-house Care at Home team."

The statement added: "We fully understand that all staff may not wish to transfer to the HSCP, however we would encourage them to come along to one of the arranged sessions and speak to our team who will be able to offer advice and guidance on what this could mean for them. 

"We also have information available for affected staff on other agencies who could support them with employment opportunities should they not wish to transfer to the HSCP.

“The wellbeing of our service users and securing employment opportunities for the affected staff is our utmost priority.

"The changes to the way Care at Home services will be delivered from June has required financial investment by the IJB rather than delivering a saving, the value of this additional cost being recognised as an investment in high quality care.

"The decision reflects a move to a fairer approach to care provision across North Ayrshire and to allow the HSCP to provide greater long-term stability and quality of care provision for service users.”