Leicestershire County Council’s framework of home care providers is known as Home Care for Leicestershire (HCL). In March 2023 the framework contained 86 providers.
The HCL service is jointly commissioned by Leicestershire County Council and the Integrated Care Board (ICB) and provides on-going care, following initial reablement by the Council’s in house homecare and reablement team (HART), or where people are assessed as having eligible needs. A brokerage service sources and confirms all packages of care.
Four price bands were introduced in November 2021 (urban, fringe, rural and isolated) to reflect the costs of delivering care to different areas (zones) of the county.
There are 14 zones in total:
- Coalville and Ashby (including Ibstock, Measham, Ravenstone and Ellistown)
- Charnwood North (Loughborough, Shepshed and Kegworth)
- Charnwood South (Quorn, Barrow upon Soar, Mountsorrel, Birstall and Syston)
- West Leicester (Braunstone, Markfield, Anstey, Ratby and Groby)
- Oadby and Wigston (including Great Glen, Fleckney and Kilworth Harcourt)
- Hinckley (including Earl Shilton, Sapcote, Stoney Stanton and Broughton Astley)
- Melton (including Asfordby and Harby)
- South Leicestershire (including Narborough, Blaby, Countesthorpe and Whetstone)
- Market Harborough
- Castle Donington
- Harborough rural
- West Leicestershire rural (Market Bosworth, Desford, Newbold Verdon and Bagworth)
A map of the framework zones:
The framework is based on four pricing levels. The price bands in 2023-2024 are:
|Band||Definition||Rate per hour 2023-2024|
|Urban||Areas with concentrated demand in towns and clusters of nearby villages with good travel routes and relatively high numbers of hours||£21.95|
|Fringe||Smaller, more isolated towns or villages fairly close to towns with good travel routes, but lower population density||£22.94|
|Rural||Areas that are reasonably accessible by car, but have longer travel times between visits than urban and fringe areas||£25.72|
|Isolated||Hard to reach or source areas likely to involve significant travel to and from/between visits||£28.71|
- Maintenance is used for day and night services, and the person’s postcode will determine the appropriate rate
- 24/7 or live-in care packages is commissioned on a case-by-case basis, usually as a short-term care solution
Maintenance homecare 24-month trend March 2020 – April 2023
There has been growth in home care maintenance packages. Both in the number of individuals we are working with and the cost and size of their package.
|1 April 2021||1 April 2023||Difference|
|Number of service users||2285||2837||24%|
|Average cost of a package||£276||£351||27%|
Joining the HCL framework
The framework may be opened from time to time to allow new agencies to join, as and when the Council has significant gaps between supply and demand for home care. This may be triggered by zone-specific or countywide gaps in the care capacity or types of care. In March 2023 there was sufficient capacity of home care services across Leicestershire and no plan to reopen the framework.
The current framework is in place until 31 October 2024, with the possibility of two extensions of 12 months each. If both extensions are taken, this would have the current framework in place until 31 October 2026. If the framework is in place until 31 October 2024, tenders will be invited in early 2024.
People awaiting care in the community and from hospital
The average wait time for people waiting to receive a package of care has fallen dramatically. This is partly due to the addition of more framework providers joining in November 2022.
There are tangible challenges across home care providers in relation to recruitment and retention of staff. Dialogue in 2022-23 with providers has indicated a number of leavers from the sector due to the cost of living and rise in energy and fuel costs, coupled with a low number of new entrants into the workforce. Some providers have sought recruitment from overseas which has attracted increased numbers of workers to the County through a competitive annual salary.
The Inspired to Care team supports providers with recruitment and retention.
Commissioning aspirations, intentions and opportunities
The Council aims to ensure that the HCL framework has the quality and diversity required to meet the needs of all support plans. It recognises that providers know the person very well, and wishes to involve providers more in the review of packages where appropriate.
It wants to support providers to become or maintain their CQC status of Outstanding or Good, to maintain a high-quality workforce including the recruitment and retention of staff, and remain financially sustainable.
To maximise independence, the Council wants to reduce and step down packages and call times when it is safe to do so more efficiently to free up worker capacity.
It wants to trial new methods of providing care and support, including the increased use of care related technology.
In order to maximise provider sustainability, the Council is progressing:
Reablement: Increase reablement provision in partnership with the Integrated Care Board (ICB) and local hospital to maximise people’s independence.
Home care pilots: The Council will pilot models for home care, testing new ways of working and efficiencies with a view to developing a new home care model based on a partnership approach with the provider market. This may see testing of initiatives such as provider led reviews and flexibility in providers’ use of hours and increased use of technology.
Personal assistants: The Council is undertaking work on defining the Personal Assistant (PA) market offer with the aim to increase the availability of PAs and micro providers across the county. This will see a PA workforce growth to support the growing demand for older people’s care and support in their own homes. The Council sees this as part of the available pathways for people receiving long term care to deliver improved outcomes in a more cost effective and efficient model.
Page last updated in June 2023.