Northamptonshire County Council’s draft budget outlines plans to introduce a new online marketplace for adult social care services which could generate £2million over the next five years.
The website breeze-e will serve as a one-stop shop for care and support services, enabling people in Northamptonshire to have more choice and control over the care services they or their loved ones need to buy.
Customers will be able to find services including healthcare equipment, physiotherapy, domiciliary care, private hire transport, mobility scooters, respite care, day care and complementary therapies.
It is estimated that the adult social care market in Northamptonshire is worth over £400million a year and is currently an under-developed market.
The e-marketplace would generate an expected £2million for the county council – £225,000 in 2016/17, £375,000 in 2017/18, £673,000 in 2018/19 and £800,000 in 2019/20 – as the authority would receive a 2% fee for each transaction made through breeze-e.
This income generation stream is part of the council’s proposals to transform the way it provides public services by moving away from directly delivering services.
Cllr Suresh Patel, county council cabinet member for adult social care, said: “The introduction of the breeze-e online marketplace will play a key role in our drive to promote self-care and independent living while enabling people to stay in their own home for as long as possible.
“We want people who need care services to have as much choice as possible and this will bring together a huge range of services and suppliers in one easily-accessible forum.
“All providers will subscribe to recognised quality and performance standards, so people who use breeze-e can be confident they are accessing reliable, high-quality goods and services.”
The introduction of breeze-e is also in line with the principles of the forthcoming Care Act, which will place a greater emphasis on personalisation of care.