Cabinet 12 th November 2013


Date of Meeting:12 th November 2013
Report of: Strategic Housing and Intelligence Manager
Subject/Title: Handyperson and Minor Adaptations Service
(Forward Plan Ref. CE 13/14-34)
Portfolio Holder: Councillor D Stockton, Housing, Planning, Economic
Development and Regeneration / Councillor J
Clowes, Health and Adult Care
1.0 Report Summary
1.1 Cheshire East Council is committed to helping people to stay in their own
homes and remain as active and independent as possible. To support this, a
number of services are provided so that vulnerable people can benefit from
opportunities that give them the choice to remain in their own homes. The recommissioning
of the Handyperson and Minor Adaptations service is part of a
suite of developments across housing, social care, health and public health to
increase good outcomes to achieve Outcome 5 in the Council’s 3 year plan:
“Local People Live Well and for Longer”.
1.2 Handyperson services provide low level practical support for vulnerable people
to enable them to remain independent and safe in their own homes. Assistance
includes installing grab rails and hand rails on stairs to minimise the risk of
falls, key safes to enable care to be provided at home, and an array of small
repairs around the home. Handyperson services are able to reach vulnerable
people who might be reluctant to accept more intensive help from statutory
services and contributes to our strategy for achieving early intervention and
prevention. These services are highly valued by older people as they can
access support from a trusted provider to carry out jobs they can no longer do
for themselves, or can’t find a reputable contractor to do at an affordable price.
1.3 Evidence suggests that over 65s are more likely to fall in their home than
younger people, and such falls are more likely to result in hospital admission.
Each year, around 35 per cent of people aged 65 and over experience one or
more falls, and the rate rises to 45 per cent for people aged 80 and over.
Around 10 to 20 per cent of those who fall will sustain a serious injury. An
evaluation concluded that for every £1 invested in handyperson services in
Cheshire East, there was a cost benefit of £1.97 to public services.
1.4 The Handyperson and Minor Adaptations service is commissioned by Adult
Services and is currently delivered in-house by the Strategic Housing service.
As a result of a Strategic Housing review, this part of the service was identified
as suitable for delivery by an alternative provider, which was confirmed through
market testing.
Agenda Item 8
Page 73
1.5 This report seeks permission to conduct a procurement exercise to tender for a
Handyperson and Minor Adaptations service. The estimated aggregated
contract value is £600,000 - £800,000 over the 5 year maxmum timeframe for
the contract.
1.6 The changes to the delivery of the Handyperson and Minor Adaptations service
will trigger the automatic application of the TUPE regulations which will effect a
transfer of up to six members of staff employed by the Council to the
successful bidder.
2.0 Recommendations
2.1 To authorise officers to conduct a procurement exercise to tender for a
Handyperson and Minor Adaptations Service. This tender will secure a contract
for the provision of the service for three years, with the option to extend the
contract for up to a further two years subject to satisfactory performance.
2.2 To delegate authority to the Director of Economic Growth and Prosperity in
consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning, Economic
Development and Regeneration to award the contract to the highest scoring
bidder following a legally compliant procurement exercise and subsequently
enter into a contract with the successful bidder.
3.0 Reasons for Recommendations
3.1 The re commissioning of the Handyperson and Minor Adaptations Service
forms part of the Strategic Housing review which was instigated in 2012 (Major
Change Programme 5.1) to consider whether the services provided were fit for
purpose and met the needs of our customers. The review was structured in a
phased approach; in the first phase we have restructured the Strategic
Housing service to enhance the customer journey as well as bringing forward
efficiencies, and work is now underway on options appraisals for new models
for service delivery for front line services. This element of the review will be
concluded early in the New Year. Further reports on the options available to
the authority will then be progressed through the appropriate routes for
consideration and implementation.
3.2 The second phase will be the integration of housing into a more corporate
approach, ensuring that it meets the wider agenda of economic growth and
supporting our most vulnerable residents.
3.3 During the Strategic Housing Review, a cross-service review of the
Handyperson and Minor Adaptations service has been undertaken to establish
the future place of this support in delivering the Council’s outcomes, and
following an options appraisal it was concluded that this is a key service to
achieve early intervention and preventative outcomes for vulnerable people,
improving their physical and mental well-being and independence at homes.
There is a well developed market to be able to deliver this type of service, and
Page 74
opportunities to develop a more creative and sustainable Handyperson and
Minor Adaptations service have been identified in the market place.
3.4 There is a need to achieve best value for the services that the Council directly
commissions and provides, and to reduce net operating cost wherever
possible, whilst at the same time maintaining the best possible service for its
residents in line with the Council’s agreed three year plan.
3.5 The business case was endorsed by EMB on 31
October 2013, the next stage
of which is to start the procurement process.
4.0 Wards Affected
4.1 All Wards
5.0 Local Ward Members
5.1 All Wards
6.0 Policy Implications
6.1 The recommendations within this report support the delivery of priority five of
the Cheshire East Council Three Year Plan– people live well and for longer.
6.2 The recommendations also support the aspiration of Cheshire East to be a
Council which enables and supports communities, families and individuals to
flourish and be self-reliant, a Council that works in partnership with others to
ensure the best outcomes for local people and a Council that ensures
services are delivered in the way which gives the best value for local people.
7.0 Financial Implications
7.1 The first stage of the Strategic Housing review has identified efficiency savings
of £200,000 across both Housing and Adult Services. In 2013/14 savings of
£79,000 were incorporated into the Strategic Housing budget. A further
£119,500 savings will be incorporated into the 2014/15 budget setting process
against the Adult Services budget. This is based on a mix of the capitalisation
of costs relating to the management of capital schemes and efficiency savings
from the restructure of both the Care & Repair and the Handyperson and Minor
Adaptations services. The ability to achieve the full saving will be subject to
the contract price following the tendering of the Handyperson and Minor
Adaptations service.
7.2 Within the Business Planning process, Strategic Housing was identified as
having the potential to achieve £300,000 over the period 2013/14 to 2015/16.
The ability to make any further savings over the identified £200,000 can only
be determined following the implementation of new delivery models.
Page 75
7.2 There is an existing budget for the Handyperson and Minor Adaptations
contract which is sufficient to cover the value of the contract (£600,000-
£800,000 over 5 years).
8.0 Legal Implications
8.1 Detailed legal advice may well be necessary on procurement and HR issues,
including TUPE issues, and this requirement, and the legal resources
implications, must be borne in mind and built into any future plans which might
arise out of this review.
8.2 The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 places a duty on local
authorities to arrange practical assistance in the home, and any works of
adaptation or the provision of additional facilities designed to secure greater
safety, comfort or convenience. Authorities may discharge their duties by the
direct provision of equipment or adaptations, or by providing a grant to cover or
contribute to the costs of such a provision. Part 2 of the Community Care
(Delayed Discharges etc) Act (Qualifying Services) (England) Regulations 2003
provide that any community care equipment and minor adaptations for ‘the
purposed of assisting with nursing at home or aiding daily living which a person
has been assessed to need, and for which he or she is eligible, should be
provided free of charge provided the cost is £1,000 or less’.
8.3 The power to deliver a Handyperson and Minor Adaptations service is
contained within Section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972 which states:
“Without prejudice to any powers exercisable apart from this section but
subject to the provisions of this Act and any other enactment passed before or
after this Act, a local authority shall have power to do any thing (whether or not
involving the expenditure, borrowing or lending of money or the acquisition or
disposal of any property or rights) which is calculated to facilitate, or is
conducive or incidental to, the discharge of any of their functions.”
8.4 The aggregate value over the lifetime of the planned Handyperson and Minor
Adaptations service contract is above the EU threshold for supplies and
services (£173,934), so the full EU procurement regime applies.
8.5 Transferring the service delivery to an external provider will trigger a TUPE
transfer of current Council staff who are working on the delivery of the
Handyperson and Minor Adaptations service immediately before the transfer.
The Council will have to undertake the necessary due diligence to identify
which employees have the right to transfer to the new provider and to be
able to provide the necessary employee liability information in accordance with
the TUPE regulations. The Council and the new provider will also have to
comply with the Regulations’ consultation requirement, which stipulates that
consultation on any planned changes to terms and conditions of employment
(measures) needs to be conducted in good time before the transfer. In “good
time” is not defined in the regulations, but a comparison is usually drawn with
the timescale for redundancy consultation which is 45 days.
Page 76
9.0 Risk Management
9.1 Failure to procure works in accordance with EU procurement regulations and
the Council’s Finance and Contract Procedure Rules would leave the Council
open to challenge and in breach of regulations, with a subsequent reputational
impact. The contract will be advertised on the North West Chest. The tenders
will be evaluated using criteria to establish the most economically advantageous
9.2 There is a risk that the cost of discretionary activities under the contract which
are passed on to customers will rise substantially, with the subsequent risk
that this will be viewed negatively by current and potential customers and lead
to negative publicity and a reduction in take up of services. An engagement
exercise will be undertaken to mitigate this risk.
9.3 The Handyperson service and Minor Adaptations Service is to be contracted out
with the expectation that efficiency savings will be made. The level of savings
will be determined by the contract price and therefore the risk is that we will not
achieve the anticipated levels.
10.0 Access to Information
The background papers relating to this report can be inspected by contacting
the report writer:
Name: Karen Carsberg
Designation: Strategic Housing & Intelligence Manager
Tel No: 01270 686654 (ext 86654)
Page 77
Page 78
This page is intentionally left blank


Join UNISON in just 3 minutes - all you
need is your bank details and you’re set.

Join now

Need help?

Find out who to contact for help, or where
to find the information you need.

Tel: 01244 346894