Northamptonshire County Council has sought to play down fears that more than 300 staff in adult social services may have been “put at risk” while the department moves over to an arms-length management company.
The authority is pressing on with plans to set up Northamptonshire Adults Social Services, a new not-for-profit company which will be commissioned to deliver social services to vulnerable adults on behalf of the council.
County Hall bosses want the new organisation up and running by April 2017.
The plans, being called the Next Generation model, are aimed at saving money as the cash-strapped council seeks to cope with huge cuts to the grant it receives from central government.
But a memo sent to some 300 staff in the department has created anxiety after suggesting there will be a review of the service.
Opposition Councillor Danielle Stone, (Lab, Abington and Phippsville) yesterday tweeted that the entire department had been put “at risk” following a conversation she had with staff there.
She posted: “Oh no NCC. All Adult Social Care staff put at risk? Continuing with the New Generation model costing £51 million and putting jobs at risk?”
A spokesman for the council said that while no adult social care staff have formally been put at risk, a “workforce review” will be undertaken, meaning that “technically”, no job is completely safe.
“We are developing plans for a new standalone adult social care organisation as part of our Next Generation Council model, which will be commissioned to deliver services for the county council in a more innovative, effective and efficient way,” he said.
“As part of the transition into the new model and the associated workforce review, all staff will technically be put at risk during this transition and there will also be a review of care management and assessment staff, including senior managers.
“At this stage only the outline business case for the new organisation has been approved by cabinet. Further plans will be presented in the new year.”