The Department of Health and Social Care has taken the decision to end its commissioned cleaning service which was available to people eligible for income support. The service, which offers the majority of users one hour of cleaning a week, will not continue when the contract with the current provider expires in January 2018.
All people in receipt of the service will be contacted over the next six weeks to assess whether their needs have become more complex and whether a further assessment for social care support is needed.
Member for the Department of Health and Social Care, Ann Corlett MHK, said:
'want to make it absolutely clear that despite this particular service coming to an end, everyone who receives help with cleaning will, where necessary, have their needs reassessed and be fully supported through the transition.
'Through reassessment, our social care professionals will determine the level of need of each service user and, in line with existing eligibility criteria, ensure they receive the support they require to stay in their own homes and maintain their independence for as long as possible.'
122 people currently receive a cleaning service, which generally provides up to one hour of household cleaning per week.
The decision to end provision of the service is part of ongoing efforts by the DHSC to reduce its expenditure which has exceeded the allocated budget in each of the past two years, requiring approval for supplementary funding from Tynwald totalling £20 million. The move is expected to save around £140,000 a year.
The service, which was first commissioned in 2003, is currently operated by external provider Manx Home Care, which successfully tendered for the contract in a competitive procurement exercise in 2013.
Mrs Corlett added:
'The scale of the financial challenge facing the DHSC means that difficult decisions are having to be taken. Whilst this specific service will come to an end, the Department’s Home Care Service will continue to operate as normal, supporting government’s ambition of helping people to stay in their own homes and live independently for as long as possible.'