A POPULAR county care provider is withdrawing from its social services work agreement with Herefordshire Council.

Kemble at Home, which helps residents with their day-to-day household chores and care needs, has been supporting council-funded clients in Herefordshire for 25 years since it was set up.

But company representatives say they are now pulling out of their contract due to insufficient funding to maintain their high standards.

Peter King, managing director, said: “We made the very difficult decision to withdraw from our social services contract with Herefordshrie Council. “Recently the council set its new rates at a level which is sadly considerably less than our recent carer wage increase, and consequently we have decided that from the summer, we will move to be a privately-funded organisation.

“We have felt very privileged to have worked in partnership with social services and we have found the work deeply satisfying and rewarding. “However, in recent years financial pressure from Government has meant that the amount we are paid to deliver this service has become less and less sufficient for us to maintain the high standards we aspire to.”

Stephen Vickers, Herefordshire Council’s Director for Adults and Wellbeing, said the council was disappointed that Kemble at Home had chosen to withdraw from delivering care provision.

He said: “The council has increased the rate it pays home care providers to £16.20 per hour – taking account of the National Living Wage – all within the context of continuing financial challenges in providing adult social care for an above average ageing population.

“We understand that changes to care provision can be unsettling, but please be assured that the council will ensure residents continue to receive the same level of care as outlined in their care plan.

“We are working closely with Kemble at Home along with other approved care agencies for a smooth transfer of care, and every effort will be made to manage any change to care provision with minimum inconvenience to those affected. We will ensure no changes to individual care are made without talking to the recipients of that care and, if necessary, their families too.”

People affected by Kemble at Home’s withdrawal will be rovided with a named point of contact within adult social care and the transition will start at the beginning of this month and will last until the end of June.