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Councils to discuss adult services partnership

Councils to discuss adult services partnership

18 October 2016
Elderly people

Wokingham Borough Council and Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead are considering delivering their adult services together through a new partnership.

The councils are looking to expand Optalis Ltd who currently provides some of Wokingham’s adult services provision.

Optalis was created by Wokingham Borough Council in 2011 as a way of giving the council more opportunities to enhance some of its provision of care and the Royal Borough is looking to join the partnership as a shareholder.

If Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead’s cabinet gives approval, the council’s existing adult services workforce would be employed by Optalis Ltd instead of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead from April 2017.

The planned agreement would see the council join Wokingham as shared owners of Optalis Ltd – initially on a 45:55 split (the council owning 45 percent with Wokingham owning 55 percent). This would later be adjusted to equal ownership after the first two years.

Both the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead's cabinet and Wokingham Borough Council's Executive will discuss the plan on Thursday 27 October as both councils look to ensure they are best placed both to go on providing good services and to deal with the expected rise in the number of adult residents needing services.

Cllr David Coppinger, cabinet member for adult services at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead's, said: "Our ambition as a council is to secure high quality services for our residents.

"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 that this decision will only strengthen that relationship and provide a better service for our residents.

Cllr Julian McGhee Sumner, executive member for health and wellbeing at Wokingham Borough Council, said: "If this proposal is approved, the new relationship would strengthen the quality and breadth of adult services in the Wokingham Borough.

"It would benefit the people using the service and give greater peace of mind to their families, but also enrich the capacity and resources for the professionals working within the sector.

"Optalis continues to prove its stature and reputation as an outstanding care provider in the area."

Mette Le Jakobsen, managing director at Optalis, says: "Optalis is a thriving local authority trading company, now in our sixth year of operation.


"We are thrilled that the Royal Borough is considering joining Wokingham Borough Council in delivering their adult social care services by expanding Optalis. 

"Partnership is crucial in the social care sector and Optalis is part of a solution for local authorities who face challenges and pressures."


If the decision is approved, staff will continue to work in the Royal Borough offices but will be employed by Optalis Ltd. There are currently over 300 staff who work in the adult directorate at Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. Staff will continue to be based in the Royal Borough and the council would still be accountable for the standards and retain its statutory responsibility for adult services.