Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) have used Valuing Care for a number of years to conduct cost of care exercises. With the DHSC requirement deadline approaching, using Valuing Care again seemed a natural way forward.
The company had completed a range of exercises between 2016 and 2020 so a mixture of new surveys and ‘refreshes’ were needed. Looking across the market they concentrated on three key areas:
- Older People’s Residential and Nursing Care
- Learning Disabilities Residential, both in and out of the local authority area
- Domiciliary Care for 18+
Older People’s Residential and Nursing Cost of Care Review
Valuing Care conducting a full survey of all care homes for older people within the BANES Council area. The company met with provider representatives to explain the process and answer any initial question they had.
The company used the IESE templates and are are currently collecting provider returns. Survey requests are due at the middle of August 2022 with the Council expecting the final report in September.
This report will be used as the basis for setting fee rates for 2022/23 and will include:
- Aggregated Provider survey returns analysed for reasonableness and reported using Median rate analysis
- A comprehensive benchmarking exercise against Valuing Care’s independent model rates which have been built up through over 50 area wide surveys over the last decade
In addition, the information collected will provide the Council with a dataset and methodology ready for setting the metered Care Cap rate. This comprehensive approach will be crucial for any scrutiny the new Care Cap rate will receive ready for its implementation in October 2023.
Creating a Sustainable Learning Disabilities Cost Model using Valuing Care’s Purchaser Software
The Council wanted to create a sustainable framework for all their residential placements, one that could be used for both new placements and reviewing existing placements. In addition, with so many placements spread across the southwest they want to be sure that any model they used could be flexed to meet geographical variations. Based on this, they asked Valuing Care to collect information on all their current residential packages and load them onto their Purchaser software to create a BANES specific cost model.
By proceeding in this way BANES Council created a long lasting and maintainable record that they could easily update going forward.
Working in partnership with Valuing Care they are collecting:
- Underlying cost details of their targeted residential packages
- Staff rotas relating to each individual package
- Comparing this information to Valuing Care’s national and local models to provide a detailed breakdown of cost per package
- Storing all of this information into their own environment within the Purchaser software so all information can be captured once and reused over future years
- Using Valuing Care’s software and models to manage inflation requests from providers
The project will leave BANES Council with all cases recorded on a central system with detailed breakdown of their costs. Going forward commissioners will be able to:
- Continuously compare current costs to Valuing Care’s model costs
- Uplift cases by inflation in a targeted manner ensure value for money and sustainability
- Review cases with the greatest variance, either by Provider, profitability or sustainability
Domiciliary Care Survey and Cost modelling
In addition to the above survey areas, Valuing Care also provided support for the Domiciliary FCOC exercise. This included presenting to provider groups. All of the data collected used the LGA toolkit so that a common approach could be taken regionally on reporting and data recording.
Within the project Valuing Care were tasked with the following:
- Understanding the current cost structure through surveying the market
- Managing the data collection process
- Checking provider templates for accuracy and consistency
- Identification of fair cost of care rates from the survey results
- Creation of Valuing Care model benchmark rates to match the geographical area
- Final reporting and data loading
Based on the three project being completed by December 2022, BANES Council will be in a good place to better understand the current cost pressures in the market. Refreshing the data and creating a consistent basis for capturing base costs puts the local authority on a good forward for their market sustainability plan and beyond.