New care contract awarded to Hartlepool agency

Keith Bayley
Keith Bayley

THE new contract for a scheme which aims to help people live more independently has been awarded.

Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA), in Victoria Road, is to take over the low level support service contract previously held by Who Cares North East.

The contract, due to start on October 1 and end on March 31, 2014, has been awarded by Hartlepool Borough Council and HVDA will be working closely with other organisations including Hartlepool and East Durham Mind, Hartlepool Carers and NDC Trust.

Keith Bayley, manager of HVDA, said: “We are very pleased.

“Our strength is that we work with lots of different organisations and we want to build on some of the good work that has gone before.”

The council’s adult services committee meets on Monday, August 12 to note the report.

Back in 2011, the council awarded Who Cares North East a contract worth £680,000 over two years to run the town-wide handyperson, connected care and independent living service.

But the contract was put up for tender after the former cabinet committee raised concerns about the governance arrangements.

Council auditors had also raised concerns about administrative procedures at Who Cares (NE), which is currently running the scheme on a monthly basis.

Officers concluded “limited assurance” could be placed on the procedures to manage council funds provided to the community interest company, which also has bases at Burbank and West View.

A council spokesman said: “Following the decision by the council’s cabinet to go out to tender for provision of a Low Level Support Service, we can confirm that the contract has been awarded to a consortium led by Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency after full evaluation of the bids submitted.”

Councillor Kevin Cranney, chairman of Who Cares (NE), was unavailable for comment.