Decision details

Recommissioning of Herefordshire Intensive Support Service (HIPSS)

Decision Maker: Cabinet member children and young people

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To approve the recommissioning of the Herefordshire Intensive Placement Support Service.




a) To approve the recommissioning of the Herefordshire Intensive Placement Support Service (HIPSS) for a period of up to five years from 1st April 2024;


b) That the Corporate Director Community Wellbeing be authorised to award the contract for the Intensive Placement Support Service up to the value of £2.2M


c) To delegate authority to the Corporate Director Community Wellbeing to make all decisions to give effect to recommendation a and b and should any changes or amendments need to be made throughout the commissioning process and contract period.

Alternative options considered:

1.     Do nothing and allow the current contract to end in March 2024. This is not recommended. The implications of doing nothing would be that the existing contract would expire on 31 March 2024 and the service would cease. This would immediately reduce clinical support for children with complex needs and increase the risk of placement disruption among the HIPSS cohort. Consequently there will be a greater risk of placement breakdown and the need to accommodate children in residential placements, potentially out of county, and at a significantly higher cost.  


2.     Develop an in-house specialist therapeutic service. This option is not recommended. It would require a significant long term investment by the council, but at the current time challenges remain with regards to staff recruitment and retention. However, as this situation improves, the council may wish to consider this option in the future

Reason Key: Expenditure and strategic nature / impact on communities;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);


Consultation is being carried out with current service provider along with Children and young people, Foster Carers and Social Work staff whom have had experience with the service.

Contact: John Burgess, Senior Commissioning Officer Email:, Ellie Sheers, Commissioning Support Officer Email: Tel: 01432 261525.

Publication date: 15/11/2023

Date of decision: 15/11/2023

Effective from: 22/11/2023

Accompanying Documents: