Councils announce plan to merge delivery of adult social services

Windsor and Maidenhead council is proposing to shift its existing adult services workforce into Wokingham’s social care trading company Optalis

The two councils are looking to expand Optalis Ltd, which currently provides some of Wokingham council's (pictured) adult social care services. Photo: Gary Brigden

Two councils have announced plans to merge the delivery of adult social services.

The move would see social workers at Windsor and Maidenhead council become employed by Wokingham’s social care trading company, Optalis Ltd, from April 2017.

Optalis was set up in 2011 and provides Wokingham council’s long-term adult social work services for older people and adults with disabilities, as well as commissioning care providers.

If the plans are approved, Windsor and Maidenhead will join Optalis as a 45% shareholder for the first two years, before taking equal ownership of the trading company. The council will retain its statutory responsibility for adult services and staff will still be based in the borough.

David Coppinger, cabinet member for adult services at Windsor and Maidenhead, said: “It is important that we make decisions now that will ensure we have the resources, staff and expertise to continue providing support and assistance to our residents for the longer term.

“We already work closely with Wokingham on a number of other services and we believe this decision will only strengthen that relationship and provide a better service for our residents.”

Both councils will make a decision on the proposal at a joint meeting on 27 October.

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