Community Life Choices lands Cumbrian contract

Preston-headquartered homecare specialist Community Life Choices (CLC) has been appointed by Cumbria County Council and NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide recruitment, payroll and managed accounts support for adults with care needs.

Alan Frew CLCThe contract is designed to help the council achieve its goals of improving the health and emotional wellbeing of adults with social care needs in Cumbria.

It follows the recent introduction of Direct Payment (DP) for social care in the Care Act and ensures that service users benefit from accessing the increased choice and control over their care needs that the system has been designed to deliver - improving quality of life with specialist resources tailored to meet individual needs.

The move to Direct Payment means that social care service users are now responsible for recruitment, employment and payroll of their own carers and must manage their personal budgets effectively.

CLC will manage the appointment of a named personal assistant (PA) for each Direct Payment recipient and provide support for the advertising and recruitment of trained care staff.

The company will also work with Direct Payment recipients in Cumbria to ensure that they understand their employer obligations and have arrangements in place to recruit a PA, offering a payroll service that ensures staff are paid on time and in compliance with HMRC requirements.

CLC’s managed accounts services will also ensure that service users’ prepaid card accounts are managed efficiently, including receipt of payments and payment of invoices and wages.

Alan Frew, managing director of CLC, said: “The breadth of experience we can offer to social care service users through this contract with Cumbria County Council and NHS Cumbria CCG means that we can look after all their physical, emotional and financial management requirements with joined up services from a single provider.

“That means more tailored service provision and less stress for users as they navigate the transition to Direct Payment, ensuring that the council and NHS Cumbria CCG meet their aims of improved outcomes and economic wellbeing for social care users.” The agreement with Cumbria County Council and NHS Cumbria CCG builds on CLC’s success in securing local authority contracts, with the company now providing similar services to a number of councils across the UK including Halton Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, Stockport Borough Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council.