The hospital trust could be the first in the country to enter the home care market
“Through our new service, we can boost the system by adding further provision, ensuring that more people in need of home care can be allocated the support they need through the usual processes.” Sir James Mackey, chief executive, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is to begin providing home care services in North Tyneside and Northumberland, creating up to 250 jobs.
The hospital trust, which also provides community health services and runs several GP practices, has already begun recruiting the first 25 staff, including a manager to oversee the service. It is likely to launch its home care offer in the next three months, and has said it may launch home care provision later in the year.
Northumbria is believed to be the only hospital trust to enter the home care market directly, though some local NHS organisations have recently started to fund and employ social care staff on behalf of other providers.
Sir James Mackey, the trust’s chief executive, said that the service was being created in response to “unmet demand” and the need to free up more hospital beds: “Through our new service, we can boost the system by adding further provision, ensuring that more people in need of home care can be allocated the support they need through the usual processes.”
Until last year, Northumbria ran services such as rehab and learning disability care for Northumberland County Council. There are a number of care trusts in England, and the Northern Care Alliance Foundation Trust co-ordinates social care in Salford, in an agreement with the council.
Sir James said: “Our colleagues in the care sector have worked as hard as our teams in the NHS during a period of unprecedented pressure through the Covid-19 pandemic, and we thank them for their efforts.” He added, however, that the sector had experienced a rise in demand, which was “unsurprising, given the growing need nationally for more social care provision.”
The trust is currently rated Outstanding by the CQC, and Sir James said that the new service would also be of a high standard: “As always, our focus will be on quality and making sure that these services are completely tailored to the needs of the people who use them, and also being first-class services to work in.”