In a national first, Harrow Council and shop4support have announced that they will be working in partnership to implement a highly innovative social care marketplace solution in the borough.
Although shop4support are working with a number of local authorities, the pioneering partnership with Harrow Council marks the first time a local authority anywhere in the country will have invested in the wide scale roll-out of the shop4support eMarketplace solution as part of their ongoing development of the personalisation agenda within social care.
shop4support is a web-based system that creates a retail marketplace for health and social support. It offers Harrow’s service users a greater choice of services, enabling them to gain better control of their support, their money and their lives.
Harrow Council has a target that by April 2011, the majority of the citizens with social care needs that it supports will have a ‘personal budget’ and will be directing their own support. shop4support will be one of the tools utilised to help achieve this challenging target.
Harrow Council have been working with shop4support since March 2009 to design a bespoke solution that will compliment Harrow Council’s comprehensive transformation plans for adult social care.
The implementation process will commence immediately, with the first milestone being the creation of a ‘community catalogue’ within shop4support, allowing service users (and their carers) to view comprehensive details of the various free and community-based services available within the Harrow area.
Alongside this, the setup of individual users and service providers on the shop4support marketplace will commence, so that they are able to transact with each other in an efficient and effective manner.
Jeff Dandridge, Director of shop4support, said: “Harrow Council has moved very quickly to ensure they are ahead of other LAs in the wide scale implementation of shop4support and we are delighted to be assisting them to achieve their personalisation objectives.”
Councillor Barry Macleod-Cullinane, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Housing, said “We recognise the benefits that the personalisation agenda can bring for our service users and their carers. We believe that this pioneering partnership with shop4support will play a critical role in ensuring our service users gain the full benefits from personalising social care.”