Newham Council Work with Valuing Care to Help Them Meet the Conditions of the Market Sustainability and Fair Cost of Care Fund

The DHSC published guidance in December 2021 that set out conditions to access funding. 

Among others, these conditions included the need to:  
  • Conduct a cost of care exercise to determine the sustainable rates and identify how close they are to it
  • Engage with local providers to improve data on operational costs and number of self-funders to better understand the impact of reform on the local market (particularly the 65+ residential care market, but also additional pressures to domiciliary care)
  • Strengthen capacity to plan for, and execute, greater market oversight (as a result of increased section 18(3) commissioning) and improved market management to ensure markets are well positioned to deliver on our reform ambitions

Newham were keen to meet the requirements and were also aware that it had been some while since they had conducted a full local cost of care survey.

Following discussions, Valuing Care set out a bespoke project plan that took the DHSC guidance and combined this with Newham Council’s local needs. In addition, given the timescales, they were keen to bring in a company with experience based on previously completed projects of this nature.

The cost of care project will include the following client groups:

  • Market Surveys & Analysis – A robust and systematic approach to engage care providers to collect underlying cost data and validate reported costs. Sound statistical techniques to identify usual the costs of care within a locality.
  • Benchmarking – Valuing Care have used the collective intelligence from previous surveys to construct a range of cost models that calculate fair prices for services, reflecting local staffing costs and property values. This facilitates benchmarking of the local survey results, providing commissioners with increased confidence in what constitutes reasonable cost.
  • Reporting – Clear and accessible reporting that provides Commissioners with clear recommendations on what constitutes a fair price for services within a particular area. Development of pricing models which calculate a fair price for bespoke packages of care.
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.  Finally, all data collected with be uploaded into Valuing Care’s cost modelling tools. The software will ensure their commissioners have the skills and information to manage the market during the initial 3-year funding timescales set out in the DHSC guidance.  

The project will leave Newham Council with all cases recorded on a central system with a detailed breakdown of their costs. Going forward commissioners will be able to:

  • 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 Newham 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
  • Conduct their own surveys which include data collection and uploading tools
  • Conduct scenario modelling for key variable such as regional Living Wage indexes
  • For Working Age Adults, review individual cases with the greatest variance, either by Provider, profitability, or sustainability

To view a video of the Purchaser and Commissioner software see below. 

If you are interested in knowing more about the Cost of Care review project or Valuing Care’s software please contact us.

24th January 2022 | Ray Hart