Voluntary groups say they may be squeezed by London councils’
plans to jointly commission Supporting People services.
A strategy paper from the Association of London Government
recommends more joint commissioning between boroughs for Supporting
People contracts, and even contracts covering all of London.
More than a quarter of Supporting People referrals are
cross-authority in London, compared with 14 per cent outside, says
Services for mobile populations, older people and those with
complex needs are more efficiently planned and delivered
regionally, while joint accreditation and commissioning will ease
the “bureaucratic burden” on providers, the association says.
Six north London boroughs are already developing a joint contract
for floating support services, and a London protocol is being
developed for joint commissioning.
But the National Council for Voluntary Organisations is concerned
that larger contracts will favour the private sector. “It could put
some services beyond the reach of some small voluntary groups,” an
NCVO spokesperson said.
He called for more notice to be given of joint commissioning plans
to allow voluntary groups time to respond with collaborative
The report says most client groups prefer floating services,
delivered in their own homes. However, the National Housing
Federation has warned that these are likely to be the services
hardest hit by the cuts to this year’s Supporting People
The report also highlights a shortage of women’s refuges and
accommodation for ex-offenders and drug and alcohol misusers in
south-west and north-east London.
- Document from www.alg.gov.uk/doc.asp?doc=13593. Responses
before 18 March.