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Flintshire Micro-care Project

Published: 09/12/2021

Microcare logo.pngWhen they meet on Tuesday 14 December, Flintshire’s Cabinet members will be asked to continue to support the progress made in rolling out the innovative Micro-care pilot and the positive contribution the scheme is making in meeting the demand for care in Flintshire.

The Micro-care programme set up by the Council, in partnership with Cadwyn Clwyd and Welsh Government, supports and mentors individuals to develop their business or idea and provides information on training, funding and other available resources as well as guiding them through current legislation and regulations.  It also actively supports individuals to remain in their own homes.

Flintshire, like all local authorities, is facing pressures for the increasing demand for social care, with a growing older population and care agencies finding it difficult to recruit and retain employees. Delivering care into more rural parts can be particularly problematic, but the Micro-care programme is proving to be a huge success.

Micro-carers are very small businesses ranging from sole-traders up to businesses employing five people, who offer flexible and personalised care, support or well-being type services to vulnerable people, tailored to the individual’s needs.  In September 2021, these businesses were delivering to 79 clients and delivered an average of 497 hours of care, support or wellbeing (based on September’s figures). Of the 497 hours, 420 were for personal care and 77 hours were for well-being type services, for example cleaning, shopping and companionship.

Flintshire’s Deputy Leader of the Council (Partnerships) and Cabinet Member for Social Services for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said:

“Feedback from clients, families, council officers and micro-carers themselves has been extremely positive to date. At the present time a further 10 micro-carers are in the process of setting up their business and going through our quality process. In addition, several existing micro businesses are recruiting staff to expand the supply of care they can offer.

“We recently had interest from ITV Wales who did a wonderful piece on a micro-carer, her client and his family which really showcased the wonderful work being achieved in Flintshire.”

Micro-care businesses cover all areas in Flintshire and the model is proving to be cost-effective. 

Included in the recommendations in the report are:

• The support from a Micro-care Development Officer is highly valued and needs to be maintained.

• Commitment of financial investment to sustain, protect, and further develop the project is essential.

• The Quality Framework should be recognised as a valuable resource that could be used in other areas across Wales. 

• Build on the support available for micro-carers with appropriate training needs.

• Re-evaluate the project in March 2022.