by Natalie Abraham

With just five months to go before the Government deadline for applying for Market Sustainability and Fair Cost of Care Fund, it’s important that Local Authorities gain an in-depth understanding of their local cost of care by getting a holistic view of the entire care system in their local area.

Here at C.Co, based on our years of experience in delivering fair cost of care exercises, we estimate that an organisation should allow itself at least 12 weeks to carry out a fair cost of care exercise for home care and care homes and a further 4 weeks to complete a market sustainability plan. With less than five months before the government deadline of 30th September to submit funding applications, the best time to start the process is undoubtedly now. Any delay means councils run the risk of missing out on funding.

With every local authority now aware that additional funding is available to them, the key question for them is how to be best placed to access it.

First step for Local Authorities

The first step is for a Local Authority to assess its own capacity and capability for undertaking a cost of care exercise. Local authorities may now have the capacity to undertake these exercises themselves, but, if they lack experience in this area, they are likely to discover some further pressures and challenges when it comes to carrying out cost of care exercises.

Without full co-operation from local care providers, councils will have a poor basis on which to try to calculate their local cost of care. Based on our tried and tested model, our recommendation is always that the more work that can be done up front with providers, the better and more accurate results will be achieved.

Our Chief Operating Officer, Natalie Abraham, says, “In undertaking a cost of care exercise, never underestimate the time it takes and the complexity of what we are asking providers to do. Fair cost of care exercises should never be about volumes of data accumulated but about acquiring a quality, meaningful set of data.”

Joined-up approach to cost of care exercises

Good commissioning practice requires an understanding of both the market and the providers cost incurred in running the business. We always take a joined-up approach to cost of care exercises which means we can provide a real insight into the full range of care services and provide meaningful intelligence regarding the local circumstances and how they impact the local market. Our user-friendly data collection tool is customisable, allowing every organisation to alter the research parameters as required. Our team also offers support by phone and face-to-face if needed.

Get in touch with us to find out how our experienced team can help you access the Market Sustainability and Fair Cost of Care Fund.