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Essex County Council - Provider Hub
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Market Context

The Council provides social care support and services for adults with a sensory impairment who are predominantly aged 18 - 65, however some people may be over 65. Some people with a sensory impairment may also have a physical impairment or dementia. 

Sensory Impairment can be hearing or visual loss for a person. In some instances adults may have a Dual Sensory Impairment and may require help for both Impairments. In these circumstances adults will need support to adapt to their needs; this may include environmental adaptations, equipment, training, support in how to communicate to live in the community and helping to live independently. Some adults in this cohort are likely to require longer term support depending on their circumstances and needs.

Short term respite services can be provided to the unpaid carers due to the long term nature of the impairments. Carers have given feedback to the Council that it can be difficult to accommodate planned respite breaks far in advance, it is considerably easier to plan more immediate respite care.

The Council provides both community and accommodation based services for this cohort, via specific and framework contracts. Some contracts allow for providers to enter the market at set periods. For more information refer to the following services/contracts:

A financial assessment may be undertaken on adults who are in receipt of certain services. The adult can either have a managed service via one of the Council's contracts, or manage their own support via a direct payment, personal health budget or individual service fund. 

A 3-year contract with ECL for providing an all age, county wide sensory offer comes to an end in March 2022. The current contract has been extended by a further 15 months, until June 2023.

The current COVID impact highlighted is:

Some aspects of the provider delivery had been impacted due to covid, especially a few aspects of face-to-face service delivery. A number of lessons have been learnt through covid in terms of challenges that people with sensory impairment face

Current market risks:

  • Limited specialist sensory providers in Essex to provide an all age sensory service; we need to develop the market to mitigate this.

Our current area of focus is:

  • Gaps in the existing contract delivery are being addressed via commissioning intentions and negotiation meetings:
    • challenges in all age delivery of the contract
    • use of digital innovation and technology,
    • working a lot more collaboratively with other existing voluntary sector providers
  • Addressing accommodation solutions for people with a sensory impairment
  • Working closely with health partners and alliances to improve outcomes for people with a sensory impairment
Last updated: 27/05/2022