Council leaders approve plans to set up company providing commercial social care services

County Hall
County Hall

Officially titled a Local Authority Trading Company, Buckinghamshire Care is expected to begin trading in October 2013 and will initially provide day services, respite, employment and vocational services and laundry services.

The company will also provide a new reablement Service for those who need short term care to regain their independence.

It will operate completely independently, but will remain 100% owned by Buckinghamshire County Council. This means any profits made can be directly invested back into council services.

The council said establishing Buckinghamshire Care allows it to protect services against future cuts by Government and give those who need care and support from adult social care more security and stability.

It also means that those with direct payments who are currently prevented by law from purchasing services directly from the council will be able to buy from the new trading company.

Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Patricia Birchley said that the aim of the changes will be to give service users much greater choice and control over the services they receive in the future.

“Our decision to go ahead with establishing Buckinghamshire Care is a major and exciting step forward.

“We believe that having a separate company which is still owned by the Council is the very best solution for those who use our services.

“As a trading company has far more freedom to operate on a commercial basis, it will be possible for it to offer a wider range of services than the current arrangements allow.”

Six new or refurbished day centres will be run by Buckinghamshire Care and will be a resource for the wider community as well as service users.

The first of these is a part-refurbishment and part new build on the site of the former Hartwell Day Centre in Aylesbury which is on track for clients to move into by January 2014.