New provider for West Sussex support service

West Sussex County Council has outsourced a key part of its adult services operations.

Essex Cares will run the county council’s Regaining Independence Support Service (RISS), which currently helps about 2,000 people a year across the county.

RISS delivers short-term targeted help for up to six weeks to people who have just come out of hospital to help them continue living as independently as possible in their own homes.

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The £3m agreement, which will initially run for three years from this October, should mean the county council can help more people to live independently.

As part of the contract, 100 staff will be transferred to Essex Cares, meaning there will be continuity of service to customers who will notice no difference in support.

Occupational therapists, who conduct assessments, will continue to be employed by the county council but will work closely with Essex Cares staff.

Both the council and Essex Cares, a Local Authority Trading Company developed by Essex County Council, will support staff during this process.

Graham Tyler, West Sussex County Council’s deputy cabinet member for health and adults’ services said: “This will ensure that the County Council will not only be able to continue to provide what is already a good service and will also ensure that more people will be able to benefit from accessing the service.”

Amanda Rogers, the County Council’s adult services director, said: “This is good news for everybody across the county who could benefit from accessing the Regaining Independence Support Service.

“Essex Cares is inheriting a first class staff group and I have no doubt will take this service from strength to strength.”

Sherry Malik, Chairman of Essex Cares said: “This is a great landmark for the company. It shows that our experiences, and of course our excellent track record of delivery, has made us a natural partner for West Sussex County Council. We are delighted to be working with them.”