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Shropshire firm blazing a trail in care of elderly

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A national pilot scheme which could influence how councils nationwide deliver social care is being rolled out in Shropshire.

A national pilot scheme which could influence how councils nationwide deliver social care is being rolled out in Shropshire.

Community interest company People2People has been set up to deliver short term social care to older people, those with disabilities, and others with learning difficulties. The company, in Radbrook, Shrewsbury, is one of six pilots set up in the UK to look at delivering public services.

Its results will be monitored by Bristol University, King's College in London and the Department of Health.

Business development manager Mark Donovan said: "If this works in the next 18 months, it could have national significance, and we are already being asked to talk about it at national and regional events.

"Some things we are doing are quite trailblazing. We are to deliver people's support in more creative ways. After 18 months there will be a good debate nationally and locally about how successful it has proved to be."

Social worker Sue Bunker said: "In a local authority there are boundaries people have to stick to.

"We are looking at how we can reduce the bureaucracy of working with the council, to give more time to spend with an individual.

"We have already reduced the waiting times for assessments significantly, so by getting to them sooner we can avert crises."

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The group will plan its services through a board of directors comprising users, staff, and businesses.

Some staff have been co-opted from Shropshire Council for the delivery of the service, while the funding for the project also comes from the public purse.

It was launched by the Department of Health in 2010. Work began in January, with a formal launch coming soon.

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