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Social Care and Education Provider Hub

Who is this hub for?

If you provide social care or education services in Leicester for children, young people or adults, or you are considering developing social care or education services in Leicester, this provider hub is for you.

Early years and childcare services

We have a statutory duty to secure sufficient childcare places, as far as reasonably practicable, to meet the needs of parents and carers for children aged 0-14 (up to 18 years for children with a disability).

The childcare sufficiency assessment (CSA) allows us to:

  • map the supply and demand of early years and childcare services across the city;
  • identify target areas where there are gaps in provision; and
  • identify key priorities for us to focus on in the future.

We do not directly commission early years and childcare services in the council. But we work closely with the private, voluntary and independent group-care settings, childminders and the school sector, to ensure we fulfil our statutory duty and meet the needs of our diverse community.

One of our main priorities is to achieve sufficient good quality provision for funded early education entitlement (FEEE) places for two, three and four-year-olds. This is provision for:

  • eligible* two-year-olds from families on a low income or on certain benefits (15 hours per week over 38 term time weeks, or 570 hours per year);
  • all three and four-year-olds – universal entitlement (15 hours per week over 38 term time weeks, or 570 hours per year); and
  • eligible* three and four-year-olds from working families – extended entitlement (this is in addition to the universal entitlement, making a total of 30 hours per week over 38 term-time weeks or 1,140 hours per year).

*Eligibility information and criteria can be accessed via Childcare Choices.

Current need

Current need is set out in our childcare sufficiency assessment (CSA) 2019 (PDF).

Overall, Leicester has sufficient early years and childcare places for two, three and four-year old FEEE places. However, there are areas that don’t have enough places of places and gaps in provision.

Seven wards across five children’s centre cluster areas have been identified as potentially having some gaps: 

  • East cluster: Humberstone and Hamilton (FEEE places for two, three and four-year olds; Thurncourt (FEEE places for three and four-year-olds);
  • North cluster: Rushey Mead (FEEE places for two-year-olds);
  • North West cluster: Fosse (FEEE places for three and four-year-olds);
  • South cluster: Eyres Monsell (FEEE places for two-year-olds), Saffron (FEEE places for two-three and four-year-olds);
  • West cluster: Western (FEEE places for two-three and four-year-olds).

Where are we going?

The childcare market is ever-changing. Childcare providers must have high standards in practice to deliver funded places and, therefore, poor quality outcomes for providers can directly result in a reduction in the availability of funded places. Also, changes in socio-economic factors contribute to changes in parental demand which can then result in changes to supply of childcare provision.

As a city, services and partners have worked together to promote the value of funded early education provision to two-year-old children and how it can be valuable to supporting their readiness for school. Work around targeting and refining processes has resulted in a positive increase in vulnerable two-year-olds taking up the entitlement to places.

We are completing analysis for the childcare sufficiency assessment (2022), but it is clear, the Covid pandemic and cost of living crisis have significantly affected the early years sector, and the impacts continue to be felt in a range of ways. We therefore need to continue to monitor the effect this having on the market and the sustainability of providers in the early years sector.

Risks and concerns arising for the childcare market

There are a range of concerns causing risk to sustainability of providers in the sector:

  • Long term impact on demand, following Covid and the cost-of-living crisis, parents working patterns and arrangements and affordability have resulted in changes to demands on services.
  • The sector is experiencing a recruitment crisis which is putting pressure on resources and risks to quality.
  • The early education funding rates have not risen in line with increases to staffing and cost of living, which puts providers under significant financial pressures.

Key areas of strategic focus  

We will:

  • continue to work across services and with partners to implement a take-up strategy for two-year-olds. This includes working with parents to encourage take up of their entitlement and promoting the importance of helping children to become ready for school;
  • continue our quality improvement work with the sector to secure availability of high quality places across the city;
  • continue work with all providers in the sector who deliver FEEE places for two-, three- and four-year-olds, including 30-hour FEEE places; and
  • work across services to develop accessible, inclusive provision and the availability of places for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Proposed monitoring and reporting, on termly take-up and place availability into 2023

We will:

  • continue to offer business support for settings; targeting providers where there are risks identified;
  • monitor attendance and headcount figures to reflect on demand and access to places;
  • engage with the sector and provide opportunities for them to feedback on challenges and concerns; and
  • review supply and demand from the data available each term. This will enable us to understand and update our information on risks in the childcare sector.

What this means for providers

Despite the negative impact of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, it is evident that in some parts of the city we are experiencing growth in the market. We encourage any potential or existing providers intending on expanding or developing new childcare, to contact us to discuss their plans at an early stage.

The early education development (EED) team can provide support and guidance on:

  • the CSA and identifying areas to consider for new childcare provision;
  • other important considerations for new or prospective childcare providers;
  • the Ofsted registration process;
  • business support; and
  • sector specific tools and resources.

Further information on EED team support can be accessed on our Family information website.


[email protected]
0116 454 4190

Special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

Where are we now?

We have a duty to ensure children and young people with SEND and their parents are involved in decisions about their lives, to support these children and young people to achieve and to prepare them for adulthood. Leicester’s strategy for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) 2017-2022 PDF provides a vision for Leicester. The accompanying SEND self-assessment provides a more detailed breakdown of services provided, and an evaluation of provision and next steps. The support available is shared through our SEND local offer.

Some of the support services on offer are provided outside of the city council, usually through individual arrangements and placements. Personal budgets are also available to children and young people with SEND to support greater independence and choice in securing services that best meet their needs.

There are currently 2,954 children and young people (0-25 years) with an Education, Health Care Plan (EHCP) (Census 2022).

Educational placements are secured for children and young people with SEND in mainstream schools and through special school and alternative provision. These places are sought from a variety of educational providers, local authority-maintained schools, academies and free schools, as well as from independent providers. Occasionally, these placements are made a long way from home and can offer residential provision where daily travel isn’t possible.

To support families with independent advice and guidance about their SEND, including health and social care needs, we contract a SEND information, advice and guidance service. A new service provider has been in place from 1 October 2019. Two providers of information, advice and guidance relating to the take-up and management of personal budgets are also contracted by the authority.

Some families of children with a disability require additional help and support at busy times of the day, particularly before and after school. Support is sometimes provided to these families through our domiciliary support arrangements.

Short break provision is available through childcare schemes in the city and a grant is available annually to support with the additional cost sometimes associated with making reasonable adjustments to ensure access for children and young people with SEND.

Where are we going?

The number of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities is increasing, both nationally and locally, so we know there will be a greater need for local special school provision, beyond the numbers currently on offer.

Our current priorities

Our key priority is to increase the number of special school placements available to families within Leicester, by expanding council-maintained schools and buildings, reducing the reliance on high cost, out of county placements, and better meeting the wishes of families to have their children educated close to home. We will do this by:

  • reviewing the offer for post-16 education for young people with SEND to ensure that it best meets the future needs of the young people accessing it, offering greater support to gain independence;
  • reviewing the use of independent specialist provision to ensure it provides outcomes required for our children and young people with SEND and provides value for money;
  • reviewing the offer of a personal budget to families to support them in securing the care and support that best meets their individual needs, ensuring all families know of this offer;
  • reviewing the way in which we purchase domiciliary support and looking at whether alternative contract arrangements are required; and
  • developing our joint working and joint commissioning with health services across our neighbouring local authorities, Leicestershire and Rutland.

What does this mean for providers?

This means:

  • there will continue to be a need for special education provision from the private sector, but this is likely to decrease as the council-maintained provision increases;
  • providers need to consider how to market their services to children, young people and families directly as the take-up of personal budgets is expected to increase;
  • there may be opportunities for providers of short breaks and domiciliary support through a review of contracting arrangements; and
  • there may be opportunities for post-16 education providers to offer alternative courses, particularly aimed at supporting independence.

Other useful information for providers

Go to SEND local offer information -


[email protected]

Tom Elkington, business change commissioning manager


Where are we now?

We are responsible for ensuring sufficient provision of school placements for the children of Leicester. The council is unable to set up new schools itself, but we do work with the Department for Education (DfE) for the provision of new free schools where there is a demonstrated need for creating additional capacity. Free schools are funded by the government but are not run by the city council. These schools are run on a not-for-profit basis and can be set up by groups such as charities, businesses and academy trusts.

Some new free schools have opened within the city in recent years, including Avanti Fields (for both primary and secondary education), Castle Mead and Brook Mead. These have delivered much needed additional capacity to ensure we can continue to offer a school place to every Leicester resident who requires one.

We are currently working closely with the DfE to deliver a further free school, expected in 2025, to ensure capacity is sufficient to meet expected future demand.

Where are we going?

We expect demand for school places in Leicester to remain strong.  The city has typically seen significant net inward migration that has boosted demand, despite birth rates falling recently, in line with the national trend. Furthermore, significant numbers of new houses and flats are planned to be delivered over the next few years, as set out on the Local Plan. 

Therefore, we have developed a pupil place planning strategy that shows how we expect the required number of school places to change over the coming years, and sets out the steps we are taking to ensure that capacity is appropriately matched to demand.

What does this mean for providers?

Free schools can be set up by groups like academies, businesses and charities. To set up a new free school, providers have to apply through the Department for Education (DfE) website.


[email protected]
Michael Wilsher, head of education sufficiency and admissions

Children who are looked after

Where are we now?

Number of children who are looked after

For many years, demand for children’s social care and early help services has been increasing across the country. Of 152 local authorities, 60% have been experiencing an increased rate of children in care, which is growing disproportionately with the rate of children in the general population.

National studies have evidence of a relationship between poverty and children going into care. Children in England are 11 times more likely to be in care in the 10% of most deprived communities than they are in the 10% least deprived. Leicester is one of the 20% most deprived districts/unitary authorities in England (Public Health England 2019). About 22% (17,000) of children live in low income families (children in low income families: local area statistics 2014 to 2021 - GOV.UK). This means that more young people may have more complex needs.

In response to the pressures caused by increasing demand for children’s social care and early help services, we have invested in diverting children from care. We have done this by developing our workforce and supporting a range of programmes which focus on the strengths in the family and community to support children who are vulnerable, disadvantaged or need help and protection. We use a range of evidence-based intervention programmes to reduce the number of children having to become looked after. There has also been a sustained focus on securing permanence for children and young people in care in a timely manner. Consequently, Leicester has seen a fall in the number and rates of children who are looked after.

Years Leicester City East Midlands Comparator Local Authority England
2013 66 51 79 60
2014 65 51 82 60
2015 66 54 80 60
2016 73 54 78 60
2017 77 55 77 62
2018 81 57 78 64
2019 76 59 80 66
2020 73 61 79 67
2021 73 64 77 66
2022 71 65 80 70

Commissioning focus: finding homes for children who are looked after

We have developed our Placement sufficiency strategy 2020-2023 (PDF) which provides further information on the homes and support we provide and commission.

Our placement sufficiency aims are to:

  • Increase the range of homes for our children and young people that meet their needs and give them a safe place to live and thrive;
  • provide stability for our children and young people by providing timely options to achieve permanence and a safe and secure place to live;
  • develop the recruitment and retention of our own foster carers and increase their capacity to meet the needs of the children they care for;
  • review and to reduce our use of out of area residential homes and foster care placements; and
  • strengthen our commissioning practices to reduce costs and improve quality of provision and support matching of children to provision through building better relationships with our market providers.

Of our children, 68% live in foster families, 12% live in residential children’s homes, six per cent live in semi-independent accommodation with support, and the remaining 14% in other placements or arrangements (such as with adopters, residential schools and in NHS provision). This follows previous years’ trends.

Two-thirds of our children living in foster care households are placed locally with in-house foster carers. A third are placed with independent fostering agency (IFA) foster carers or with foster carers from other councils or voluntary agencies. On average, this means that we commission between 120 and 130 foster placements from Independent Fostering Agencies at any time.

We run five residential children’s homes in the city, offering a total of 30 places when at full capacity. However, for around 30-40 young people each year, we seek residential homes from the private and voluntary market.  This can be for a variety of reasons including a need for a home outside of the city, the risk that the young person may pose to other young people they are living with and / or the complexity of the young person’s needs.

Where are we going?

The number of children who are looked after in Leicester is expected to continue to remain stable, below national trends, over the coming years, as we remain focused on building on the successes of our early help and prevention services, and securing permanence in a timely manner for children and young people who are in care.

Wherever possible, we will try to find local foster families for our children and young people in care. There continues to be a need for more local foster families who can care for children and young people with complex needs and/or challenging behaviour, larger sibling groups and young people aged 10-16 years.

We will continue to need residential children’s homes, and, while we are committed to continue to develop our own homes, we know it will be a challenge to meet demand, especially where bespoke specialist support is required (this may include support around child exploitation, gangs and relationships).

We continue to work closely with other local authorities in the region, and with partners such as health services, to better understand emerging needs and to work collectively to commission services.

What does this mean for providers?

We will continue to use independent fostering arrangements for children and young people where we are unable to meet this need ourselves. This is specifically in relation to carers able to care for larger sibling groups, young children with complex needs, teenagers and those who can offer long-term care.

We will continue to use private residential care where we are unable to meet this need in-house, particularly specialist homes that can support young people on a therapeutic basis.

We are committed to exploring smarter ways of commissioning to better understand needs and support development of services which meet these needs; this includes working more closely with other local authorities, partner agencies, voluntary and private providers. We hope to build better relationships with our market providers and are committed to our principles of engagement and will consult with young people, families, staff and providers to understand their needs and to support the development of our priorities and plans.

Other useful information for providers


[email protected]
Maria Coulson, senior business change commissioning manager, children’s services

Care experienced young people

Where are we now?

We continue to support our care experienced young people until the age of 25 years, through our extensive leaving care offer. At any one time, we support approximately 270 care experienced young people aged 18 to 25 years.

Our leaving care offer sets out our main areas of focus:

  • Having your say – we have several active participation groups for young people to share their views and help to develop services.
  • Setting up your home – nearly half of our young people aged 18 to 25 years live independently without additional support, other than from their leaving care advisor. Levels of additional support needed have risen, partly due to an increase in the numbers of young people with increasingly complex health, education and transitional support needs.
  • Managing your money – we work with local businesses to offer training and support for care experienced young people.
  • Work and learning – nearly 70% of our care experienced young people are engaged in education, employment, and training. We work closely with local businesses who can offer employment and training opportunities.
  • Health and wellbeing – we work closely with health colleagues to monitor and support the health and wellbeing of our care experienced young people.
  • Family and relationships – because our care experienced young people can experience multiple transitions when leaving care, it’s especially important that they build support networks as they move into adulthood.
  • Getting involved – we actively encourage volunteering with local businesses and getting involved in local communities.
  • Getting around – we offer to support care experienced young people to learn to drive and travel in and around the city.
  • Life in the UK – we know that young people who are claiming asylum, or are new to living in the UK, have additional needs as they turn 18. We work closely with specialist advisors who can provide legal advice and connect young people to local communities, businesses and support.

Where are we going?

The number of care experienced young people has increased year on year, and this is likely to continue for the next three to five years. Our focus is to prepare and plan for care experienced young people to live successful and fulfilled lives as adults.

Our current priorities are to:

  • Embed a new arrangement for semi-independent accommodation for young people aged 16 to 25 years old jointly with the housing department, which often supports these young people to find their own homes once they turn 18. This includes a focus on providers offering different levels of support to match the young person’s needs and supporting them to live independently.
  • Review the need for placements for young people with high or complex needs to ensure safe and appropriate support is on offer.
  • Review the need for placements for young people leaving care where they have a baby/child.
  • Review and increase the provision of placements for young people with learning disabilities leaving care to support them into independence.
  • Continue to explore and expand on our local support offer for care experienced young people working with local businesses and partners.

What does this mean for providers?

We are interested in hearing from providers who can offer specialist health and education support, including therapeutic support, to young people aged 16 to 25 years old.

We need more parent and baby placements in the city.

We need more provision of placements for young people with learning disabilities leaving care, to support them into independence.

If providers feel they can offer further support to our local offer, they should contact us.

Other useful information for providers


[email protected]

Maria Coulson, senior business change commissioning manager, children’s services

Learning disability and autism services for adults

Quick links


We have established a new way of working as a partnership to address health inequalities and transform the lives of autistic people and people with learning disabilities, across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Read about the ambitions of our learning disability and autism collaborative at

Where are we now?

Learning disabilities

We are in year three of implementing the actions set out in our joint health and social care learning disability strategy 2020-2023. The strategy was co-produced with people from Leicester, including people with a lived experience of a learning disability, family members and other unpaid carers, industry organisations, and practitioners from health and social care backgrounds.

The strategy provides the blueprint for improving and maintaining quality service provision, and ensuring equal access to wider health, public health and council services.

Read about our progress against the strategy on our What we are doing section.

We have an active Learning Disability Partnership Board which brings people together to shape developments in the city, to make a difference to people with learning disabilities and their family carers.

The partnership board is made up of people with learning disabilities and family carers, as well as a range of statutory, independent and voluntary sector agencies, including the police and the NHS. It is co-chaired by a senior officer from Leicester City Council and a person with lived experience.

The council supports a group of people with learning disabilities, called We Think, to enable people with lived experience to take part in and lead the partnership board meetings.


There is also a Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Autism Partnership Board that is currently hosted by Leicestershire County Council. Like the Learning Disability Partnership Board in Leicester, this is an active partnership of autistic people, their family carers and partners from across the statutory, independent and voluntary sector. The Autism Partnership Board is co-chaired by a senior member of staff from Leicestershire County Council and a person with lived experience.

Leicester City Council supports the Autism Advocacy Group to offer an alternative way for autistic people to take part in the Autism Partnership Board and increase representation.

The Autism Space webpages have been launched. This is a central hub of clear and reliable information, advice and guidance which has been developed specifically for autistic people and family members living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. This has been created in partnership across health and social care services and is hosted on the NHS Leicestershire Partnership Trust (LPT) website.

Professionals working with, and supporting, autistic people and families will find this a useful resource to refer people to.

Where are we going?

In 2023, we will continue to have a focus on quality of, and access to, health and social care services for people with learning disabilities and autistic people.


A national autism strategy was published by the government in July 2021 – National strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 to 2026. This replaces the preceding adult autism strategy, Think Autism, which was published in April 2014. The national strategy now covers children and young people for the first time.

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are committed to working in partnership to work within this national framework to understand the priorities for autistic people and families living locally.

Learning disabilities

Work will also continue to implement the joint health and social care learning disability strategy 2020-23.  This includes our partnership working to address health inequalities, improve access to health and social care services, and to improve our practice across all services.

Read about our next steps in taking forward recommendations within the strategy at our What we are doing section.

What this means for providers

Providers should also make themselves familiar with the joint health and social care learning disability strategy and the national strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 to 2026 (see quick links above). This outlines the expectations and standards that will be required of our care market for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

Part of the ambition of this strategy is to improve choice and control for people in relation to all services and support including community opportunities, short breaks, supported living, residential and nursing care and flexible support.

Other useful information for providers

We have recently launched our Supported Employment service to support autistic people, people with learning disabilities, or both, into paid employment that is wanted, fulfilling, and paid in line with other roles in the general jobs market. The Supported Employment initiative will be delivered by specialist job coaches, following a proven model, and is supported by the Department for Work and Pensions. The service is for adults aged 18+ who live in Leicester. It is for people who have a learning disability, autism, or both, and want support to find and maintain paid work.

The core belief of Supported Employment is that anyone can become employed if they are motivated, given the right job and the right support to stay in work.

The Local Government Association’s  ‘must-know guide – autism’ report will assist in understanding the council’s role and responsibilities to autistic people, their families and carers and shows why it is important to meet the needs of local autistic people.

This Leicester City Council case study provides an example of engagement and co-production with autistic people and families regarding their experiences of the autism post-diagnostic support available in Leicester and Leicestershire.


[email protected]
Michelle Larke, lead commissioner

Mental health services for adults


We are working towards outcomes in our joint integrated commissioning strategy for adult mental health 2021-2025 (PDF). This is overseen by our Mental Health Partnership Board.

Where are we now?

Mental illness continues to be the largest single cause of disability in the UK. Leicester has high risk factors associated with mental illness, including high levels of deprivation in certain areas of the city and increased rates of risk-taking behaviour in certain communities, such as substance use. Around 19% of the adult population aged 18 to 64 in Leicester (43,625 people) live with a common mental health problem. Common mental health problems include conditions such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Common mental health problems are more prevalent amongst women than men.

We continue to jointly commission preventative mental health services with health and other local authority colleagues across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The role of these services is to improve wellbeing and promote resilience across Leicester.

Key challenges include working across all of Leicester’s diverse communities to reduce stigma around mental health issues.

Early intervention continues to have an important role in reducing the impact of, and stigma around, mental ill health.

Where are we going?

We expect a steady increase in the number of people aged 18 to 64 with a common mental health problem in the coming years, which is likely to be exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people’s mental health. This may also affect the profile of the population with a common mental health problem.

Engagement with people using services and families showed that priorities fall into three key themes of: prevention; accommodation; and support to access education, employment and volunteering. These three themes are explored in our strategy.

Our priorities for this service in the coming year include:

  • establishing ongoing monitoring of the mental health wellbeing and recovery support service

What this means for providers?

We are anticipating a range of activity in relation to reviews and procurement.


If you have any questions about supplying mental health services to Leicester City Council, please contact Caroline Ryan at [email protected].

Supported and independent living for adults


Our Supported living and extra care strategy (PDF) outlines our plans and priorities from now until 2031.

Where are we now?

Our intention for supported living services is to commission high quality, support services, focused on outcomes, for people who would benefit from living independently with support in place to help them do that.

In Leicester support is provided to people with learning disabilities; mental health problems; physical and/or sensory disabilities and older people. We also recognise the needs of other groups, including young people transitioning into adult social care, people with a dual diagnosis of both mental health problems and substance misuse, and people being supported under the Transforming Care programme.

Where are we going?

Our framework arrangement helped to improve care and support pathways for adults aged 18 and over who have a learning disability, mental health needs, physical and sensory disabilities and/or other complex needs, including autism.

Our supported living and extra care strategy (PDF) outlines our plans and priorities from now until 2031.

Our priorities for this year will be to:

  • Procurement of supported living developments

What this means for providers?

We continue to have ongoing dialogue and continuous performance monitoring with the supported living market to support them in the delivery of care and support.

We continue to encourage providers of accommodation to complete our ‘expressions of interest’ form. Please refer to our supported living and extra care strategy before submitting your expression of interest, as this outlines what sorts of accommodation we require. We can clearly advise that we have no requirement for shared housing as there is no demand for such provision.

Other useful information for providers

Care and support services in supported living are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This means that any business wanting to provide these services must be registered with the CQC.


If you have any questions about supplying supported and independent living services to Leicester City Council, please contact Caroline Ryan at [email protected].


Where are we now?

There were over 3,000people living with dementia in Leicester in 2020; of these, the majority was aged 65 years or over, and around 70 were under the age of 65.

The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland living well with dementia strategy 2019-2022 (PDF) is designed around the NHS England well pathway for dementia and has five guiding principles, each of which are supported by key priorities and actions:

  • Preventing Well
  • Diagnosing Well
  • Living Well
  • Supporting Well
  • Dying Well

A strategy review is currently being undertaken to review and update priorities.

Our commissioned Dementia Support Service began in April 2021. The provider of this service is Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland. The service is jointly commissioned with Leicestershire County Council and the Integrated Care Board. This community-focused service is for anyone living in Leicester who has a dementia diagnosis, and for their families and carers. In 2022, support was also extended to people waiting for an assessment.

Where are we going?

It is predicted that the number of people with dementia in the city will rise to over 4,000 by 2035 – a rise of approx. 35% from 2020. We know that people can live well with dementia if they are supported effectively to plan for the future.

Through our work with people living with dementia, and their carers, we have heard how they need organisations to have a good understanding of the condition and how it affects them. People have said they needed to be able to go somewhere that could provide them with proper advice, and that younger people with a diagnosis struggled to access the appropriate support.

What this means for providers

People living with dementia and their carers need different types of services, and we encourage all providers to become dementia friendly. We would like organisations to ensure that their staff become ‘dementia friends’ in order to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of dementia and respond accordingly, signposting people to the specialist dementia support service, as appropriate.

Find out more on the Dementia Friends website.

Other useful information for providers

We encourage all service providers to register their service on the Leicester MyChoice website, which will help them promote it to both the public and professionals.


[email protected]
Diana Dorozkinaite, business change commissioning manager

Support for adult carers

Where are we now?

At the 2011 Census there were a reported 31,000 carers in Leicester. However, this is likely to be an under representation of the real number as many do not think of themselves as carers. We know that the number of people providing care to a family member or friend will continue to increase and it is believed that the number has already increased to 46,000, following the Covid-19 pandemic. We are currently waiting for the most up to date Census data from 2021. During the pandemic, carers took on even more caring activities, which could often be very difficult and challenging for them. This has led to them needing increased support from statutory and other agencies.

The Joint carers strategy: recognising, valuing and supporting carers in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (PDF) has eight guiding principles, each of which is supported by key priorities and actions:

  • carer identification
  • carers are valued and involved
  • carers are informed
  • carer friendly communities
  • carers have a life alongside caring
  • carers and the impact of technology products and the living space
  • carers can access the right support at the right time
  • supporting young carers.

The carers strategy has recently been refreshed and the latest version was launched in January 2023.

Where are we going?

Our focus during 2023 will be to work alongside local carers and our partners to develop a co-produced strategy delivery plan for Leicester. The current carers support service for Leicester was commissioned in 2019, with the contract ending in 2024, and another key focus will be recommissioning this service.

What this means for providers

Carers also depend on other local groups and charities that can offer them support and advice. We would like to see this support for carers continue and develop in the city, whether we have commissioned it or whether it is funded in other ways. We would encourage all providers that deliver services to people with care and support needs to also consider prioritising the identification of family carers within their service models, as well as signposting to local carer support services.

Support for carers should be designed to meet the needs of Leicester’s diverse communities, which will be a key focus of the commissioning review. We would also like to see support that is ‘strengths-based’. This means support that works with carers to maximise the strengths and resources that they do have access to, as well as helping to connect them with other sources of support in the community. We would encourage providers that are working with carers to ensure that their services are appropriately advertised on our online directory, MyChoice, highlighting that they specifically offer support to carers.

We would also like to see service providers continue to encourage carers to sign up to their GPs’ carers’ register, as this will enable them to access other forms of support and to be signposted to the local commissioned carers’ support service.

Other useful information for providers

We encourage all service providers to register their service on the Leicester MyChoice website which will help them promote it to both the public and to other professionals.


[email protected]
Nic Cawrey, joint integrated commissioning board lead officer

Domiciliary (home) care for adults

Where are we now?

In 2019-2020, just over 1,800 people in Leicester received domiciliary care that was commissioned by the city council. The number of hours commissioned in this period was just under 270,000. This was an increase from previous years in the number of people being given domiciliary care, and the complexity and size of packages has also increased. The increase is partly because we have an ageing population, many of whom are living longer but with ill-health or disability, and because of the ongoing move towards supporting people to remain at home, rather than moving into residential care.

We commission this service on behalf of the Integrated Care Board as well as for people supported by the council and, as a result, we buy a range of support packages to meet the needs of people with social care health care needs.

We also commission a ‘rapid response’ hospital bridging service, which provides a short-term domiciliary care service on the same day as hospital discharge. This enables a patient who needs care at home to leave hospital on the day they are medically fit for discharge, rather than having to wait until their longer-term package of care is arranged.

Where are we going?

We monitor and forecast demand for domiciliary care very closely. It is likely that the number of hours of domiciliary support needed will increase as more people choose to remain at home for longer. In addition, people using home care will continue to have higher needs as they will choose to, and be supported to, stay at home, rather than move into residential care.

What this means for providers

We reopen the domiciliary support service framework contract whenever it appears that current demand starts to exceed current capacity. This means that organisations will have opportunities to bid to be one of our providers. The framework was last reopened in 2021. Providers are invited to contact us to discuss opportunities going forward and to gain an understanding of the type of services that are needed.

What we want to see from all providers of domiciliary care in Leicester, whether commissioned by ourselves or not, are services that:

  • put the person receiving support in control, as much as possible;
  • are sensitive to and respond effectively to diversity;
  • focus on recovery and reablement and support independence;
  • make the most of people’s strengths and their family and community connections;
  • deliver good quality support to people with high levels of need; and
  • provide a high quality of support to people who use direct payments and to self-funders, as well as those that receive care that we have commissioned.

Other useful information for providers

Domiciliary support services are regulated services and, as such, are subject to rigorous contract monitoring by ourselves and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). You may find it useful to find out more about what the CQC requires by contacting it directly. Services that we commission are also required to comply with a quality assessment framework. Contact us to find out more about what would be required to meet our standards under the framework.

Commissioned services make up only a part of the wider support market in Leicester, which has a large number of direct payment users, as well as self-funders accessing services.

We also encourage all service providers to register their service on the Leicester MyChoice website, which will help them promote it to both the public and professionals.


[email protected]

Integrated community equipment loans service


The Integrated Community Equipment Loan Service (ICELS) for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) has a new provider, Medequip from 1 April 2022. 

Where are we now?

Demand for equipment continues to rise, and it is anticipated that this trend will continue as provision of equipment plays a key role in several services delivering support to people.

The Covid-19 pandemic, and the following recovery by countries across the world, has resulted in significant issues for equipment supply chains. There are international shortages of shipping containers which brings equipment to the UK, as well as shortages of raw materials used in equipment manufacture such as metal and foam – this is resulting in difficulties obtaining equipment and significant increases in costs for many items of equipment. The increased demand for equipment, alongside supply chain issues, does mean that there may be times when some items of equipment are not be available.  It is vital that we collect equipment when no longer needed so that it can be cleaned and refurbished to make it available to reissue and this will support the availability of stock for other people in need. The community equipment active recall team are proactively contacting people to discuss whether they are still using the equipment and where this is not the case arranging collections.

Where are we going?

Community equipment plays a key role in the whole health and social care system and therefore it is important that the ICELS is strategically aligned with how social care services are currently being delivered now and in the future.

It is expected that demand for equipment will continue to rise as equipment plays a key role in supporting:

  • faster discharge from hospital settings with people being discharged with more complex needs to be supported at home;
  • intensive community support to avoid admission and care settings at point of crisis;
  • independence for as long as possible at home; and
  • end of life support to enable people to be treated and remain at home.

To support these aims – we need the right equipment to be available and often to be available quickly.

What this means for providers

The new service re-procured in 2022 seeks to meet the needs of all statutory organisations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland where equipment plays a key role in the delivery of their services. It is designed to meet the changing needs of people who need equipment and the new ways in which services are operating and the need for more rapid provision of equipment to support hospital discharge and crisis intervention services.

Other useful information for providers

People with packages of care that we have provided cannot directly refer themselves for equipment. All referrals for equipment are done through assessing organisations such as adult social care and disabled children’s’ services in councils, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, LOROS, as well as other healthcare providers who are commissioned by the NHS Integrated Care Board for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to provide care and support for people.

The service is an integrated health and social care service for LLR, and is jointly funded by Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland councils and the NHS Integrated Care Board for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

We act as host for this service on behalf of all partner organisations and take the lead on commissioning, procurement, contract and performance management and day to day operational management of the contracted equipment provider.


[email protected]
Julie Morley, ICELS partnership manager

Day opportunities for adults

Where are we now?

Our intention is to commission high quality, outcomes focused services that support and enable people to access and participate in a variety of daytime activities and opportunities. We hope that will help them to meet their social care and/or health needs. Services should aim to improve health and wellbeing and build skills and confidence to enable people to remain as independent as possible. Day opportunities also enable family/unpaid carers to take a break.

A new framework contract for day opportunities commenced in April 2023. There are multiple providers on the framework offering a wide range of services to people across the city, including:

  • Older people with disabilities
  • People with learning disabilities
  • People with autistic spectrum conditions
  • People with physical disabilities and/or frailty
  • People with sensory impairments (people who are deaf/hearing impaired, or visually impaired)
  • People with acquired brain injury
  • People living with dementia
  • Specialist support for people who are deaf-blind
  • Specialist Support for people with complex and multiple disabilities

Where are we going?

Feedback has shown that services need to be flexible and offer people more choice of activities.,

Day opportunities services can be a mix of building based provision, and outreach support with activities to be offered across local communities and from a range of community settings. Support can be provided in a group setting, either large or small and/or on a one-to-one basis. In addition, where demand exists, services could be available in the evening, weekends and bank holidays. 

Activities must aim to:

  • improve and maintain health and wellbeing, with a focus on being fit and active, improving mobility and movement, mental well health and mindfulness;
  • maintain and increase independence through personal and life skills development –including use of public transport, cooking, money management, IT use, confidence building and decision making;
  • maintain and increase independence through developing and increasing skills to improve access to employment, volunteering, education and training;
  • have an emphasis on inclusive activities and support that enable people to access existing community and leisure services; and
  • help reduce social isolation and loneliness and provide opportunities for building meaningful social connections, for example through self-help, peer support, befriending and volunteering.

What does this mean for providers?

There are opportunities for new and innovative providers to meet the needs of this market. Service providers need to cater for Leicester’s diverse communities and tailor their offer to meet a range of needs. Any future commissioned provision should offer choice and variety of activities, including supporting people to access leisure and social opportunities in their local community, as well as a more flexible, tailored service to meet people’s needs and aspirations.

The framework can be reopened for new providers to apply. This could be because there is an identified gap in the market, if additional capacity and choice is needed, or if a provider is no longer able to offer services and alternative provision is needed. We will continue to monitor usage of the new framework agreement as well as the take up of services through direct payments.

To be a contracted provider of day opportunity services, you will have successfully applied via a tender opportunity. Leicester City Council advertises its tender opportunities widely and you may want to register for free on the relevant sites to automatically receive notifications of any new tender opportunities. You can find out more details on our Do business with us section.

As well as our commissioned services (contracted providers), we also have a number of people using their direct payment to purchase day opportunities services. We encourage all service providers to register their service on MyChoice which will help them promote it to both the public and professionals: