Social Care – The Background
Until 2014 arrangements for social care in England were governed by 60-year-old legislation regarding social care in England. The Care Act 2014 sets out in one place, local authorities’ duties in relation to assessing people’s needs and their eligibility for publicly funded care and support.
The Care Act is a lengthy one (129 clauses in the main part) addressing many issues. Some of the major changes are:
- local councils now have a duty to promote the well-being of carers; previously their duty of care was only to the users of the care services;
- anyone receiving care and support from a regulated provider which has been arranged by the council will be covered by the Human Rights Act 1998;
- councils must enable users or potential users of care services to access independent financial advice on their care funding;
- introduction of a new appeals system for care users to appeal against council decisions on eligibility to care and care funding;
- guidance on safeguarding vulnerable adults, which in England had taken the form of the 2000 No Secrets guidance, was replaced by statutory guidance issued under the legislation.
The Act outlines the way in which local authorities should carry out carer’s assessments and needs assessments; how local authorities should determine who is eligible for support; how local authorities should charge for both residential care and community care; and places new obligations on local authorities.
The Care Act mainly concerns adults in need of care and support, and their adult carers. There are some provisions for the transition of children in need of care and support, parent carers of children in need of care and support, and young carers. However, the main provisions for these groups are in the Children and Families Act 2014.
Social Care Focus
At Winning Tenders, our experienced team understands the meaning of person-centered Care; outcome measures and how to use this information when linked with the specification.
On the face of it, every contract looks good and the opportunity is a means of securing income for providers. However, understanding that to secure a place on the Dynamic Purchasing System is only the beginning.
The competitive “mini-competitions” require clear evidence, current data, and examples of competence. To ensure that your care service meets the criteria, working with our team makes certain that the information you submit is in the right format.
The reality is often that we are competitively bidding at the council’s fixed rate. This is often below the market hourly rate. An example that springs to mind is as follows: in the National Care Association publication “2019 Social Care Briefing paper”, the authors noted:
‘The result being that Local Authorities feel comfortable commissioning complex care at unrealistically low prices – a patient in an NHS facility with assessed care needs costs the state over £2,000 p/w but on discharge the commissioner will expect to purchase the same care in more homely surrounding for about £600 per week. Clearly, there is a disconnect between what we pay for care!’
This is reflected at a local level by what the “real cost” is compared to the price paid.
Consequently, the expectation is that more Not for Profit providers will enter the marketplace. However, Not for Profits must at least remain ahead of the “breakeven point”. Therefore, every provider needs to know the real cost of their care package, and consolidate local provision and adjust care packages to the local area. Our team supports you in creating that flexibility.
Understanding the Cost of Care
Our experienced care sector project managers ensure the key measures that reduce overheads and unavoidable cost centres are applied.
In order to do this, we examine work processes. The greatest efficiency in all service provision remains to “meet the need as it arises”. With the right systems, cost centre care management improves competitiveness.
However, this requires business discipline and a responsive approach- delays cost time and money! Maximise your communication tools, understand how to understand your clients need, contact your team and arm them with the up to date information to ensure the next visit is successful in meeting that need.
Effective communication tools add value, thereby reducing the face to face time a client requires. Access to assistive technologies is often understood to be the ‘holy grail’, however, access to additional community support is where the real added value occurs.
Our Offer to Social Care providers
- About to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC)?
- Planning to respond to Dynamic Purchasing System or contract opportunity?
- Seeking to win more mini-competitions?
Our social care setup tools enable you to gather the right evidence, provide information on the level of experience and competence. This includes how to calculate your “real” hourly rate and project income based on knowledge of the sector funding and contracts.
Our team of experienced project managers ensure:
- That you are ready to tender
- That you remain competitive
- That we help you through your first tenders as part of the tender readiness process.
To stand the best chance of winning, the strategy is simple. In a nutshell:
- Cost sensitivity
- Realistic plans
- Let your work speak.
Our team is successful in working with start-up businesses and established care providers. This is simply because our business tools are designed to streamline the tender process for you, consequently simplifying contract arrangements and helping to ensure competitiveness.