Each provider (Hales Group, Comfort Call, Human Support Group and CRG) will have a designated zone within the borough in which they will work.

South Tyneside Council, which delivers home care services in partnership with South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said no care packages will change under the new Help to Live at Home Model – only the provider will change.

Current providers will remain in place until the changeover and current care staff can transfer to new providers under TUPE arrangements. As some may choose not too STC can’t guarantee carers will remain the same.

People can choose to take a Direct Payment and arrange care with the provider themselves if they prefer to stay with the current organisation, but they should be aware that rates are different and there may be a need to top up.

People who already receive support with South Tyneside Council should have received letters last week informing them that their care will transfer to the new provider between August and September.

If anyone has questions about the changes, a dedicated team has been set up who can be contacted between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Thursday and until 4.30pm on Fridays at HTLAH.team@southtyneside.gov.uk or by calling (0191) 424 6060.