Island Health is set to take over publicly funded home-support services on Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, services which are currently handled by health provider Beacon Community Services.

The health authority says the merge will happen this fall as a way of offering a “consistent approach” to the government’s team-based primary and community care model.

For 15 years, Beacon Community Services has provided home support, including helping with daily activities like bathing, dressing and grooming. It also offers assistance with the administration of medications, wound care and chronic disease management.

Island Health president and CEO Kathy MacNeil says Beacon has been a valuable partner.

“The benefits of team-based care – improved health outcomes and better patient and care provider experience – require us to take a different approach to care delivery than in the past,” she said.

Staff who are affected by the change will be given an opportunity to join the Island Health team.

“Island Health is committed to ensuring the transition of employees is respectful, that they continue to receive the fair and reasonable compensation and benefits they are entitled to, and that transition and employment for unionized employees complies with the requirements and provisions set out in their collective agreements,” the health authority said in a statement Wednesday.

The transition takes effect Oct. 31 and the Ministry of Health has appointed Lynn Stevenson, former associate deputy minister of health services, to monitor it.

Patients are being told they will get a “more responsive, client-centred service” that’s able to meet the changing needs of elderly people.

Beacon Community Services, a not-for-profit agency, will continue its work through initiatives like dementia housing, respite care and other seniors’ programs.