Agenda item

Provision of Telecare

(Housing & Community) To consider the attached report (C-005-2020-21).



Following Essex County Council’s decision to procure a county-wide care technology service Cabinet approved the recommendation to cease EFDC’s own delivery of telecare.



The Housing and Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor H Whitbread introduce the provision of telecare report. Essex County Council (ECC) had decided to procure a county-wide care technology service for telecare and assistive technology delivery. This had significant implications for EFDC’s own future delivery of telecare to residents across the district.


The purpose of this report was to provide background on current services and set out the options available for the ongoing delivery of EFDC’s telecare provision.


The report detailed two options available to the Council:


1.         Status quo - do nothing;

2.         Cessation of the delivery of telecare.


Ultimately recommending that EFDC cease the delivery of telecare to residents living in private dwellings across the district.


Councillor Philip noted that  the current slight surplus would go into deficit if we did not take this action.


Councillor Wixley noted that there may be a risk to users during the transition phase and also asked if the new contract was for a fixed period. He was assured that it would be a smooth transition and that this would happen in December this year so there was plenty of lead in time.


Councillor H Whitbread thanked the telecare staff for their outstanding work during the current lockdown period as they keep in touch with all the vulnerable residents to ensure their wellbeing.




Following Essex County Council’s decision to procure a county-wide care technology service Cabinet approved the recommendation to cease EFDC’s own delivery of telecare.



Reasons for Proposed Decision:


Cessation of the delivery of telecare


ECC’s county-wide model provided an alternative for existing users from a trusted provider that offered the potential for both economies of scope and scale. This approach would likely improve efficiency and harness resources to invest and innovate ensuring the new service was at the cutting edge of telecare and assistive technology which would likely be superior to EFDC’s offer.


Cessation of service delivery would remove a number of financial and operational risks that currently sit within the Council. The likelihood was that 2.7 full-time equivalent staff who currently worked for the Council solely on the provision of telecare would be transferred to a newly contracted provider under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE).


Other Options:


Maintain status quo


There was an option to maintain the status quo with EFDC continuing to provide telecare to residents within the district. However, retaining current arrangements was unlikely to be a realistic option for the service given that the modest contribution it generates of around £20,000 per year currently would result in a deficit of at least c£15,000 following the mobilisation of ECC’s new contract. The reasons for this include:

           The funding from Essex County Council to supply and maintain the telecare equipment and cover the installation costs will no longer be available under the new arrangement.

           Essex County Council currently fund the first 12 weeks of the service costs for service users. This will no longer be available outside of their new framework contract once the new contracts are awarded.

           Continuation of the service directly by the Council would require a sustainable business case (an increase in the charges to cover costs and support continuous improvement).

           Residents may view the other options such as those provided through ECC as representing better value for money in terms of both costs and potentially service quality.

           A likely outcome is that there will be little or no demand for the service without EFDC significantly investing to deliver outcomes to match the ‘best in class’ market offer.



Supporting documents: