C.Co was commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council to undertake an independent and objective cost of care exercise.
The exercise was split into two phases and the full scope of the commission included the following provision:
- Home Care / Domiciliary Care
- Extra Care
- Supported Living
- Residential Care
- Nursing Care
- Direct Payments
- Personal Assistance
The approach undertaken was both collaborative, with commissioners and providers; and evidence driven, based on provider data, benchmarking and research. A pertinent aspect of the approach undertaken is the local focus and the necessity to capture data which represents local providers, their costs, challenges and service delivery.
A series of workshops, drop-in sessions and 1:1s were undertaken to inform the approach to capturing data from providers. The C.Co questionnaire was then issued to providers to capture data pertinent to the review. As always this includes capturing all costs associated with running the business, irrespective of income source, as well as contextual information pertinent to the review including:
- % of self funders
- Property type
- Property location
- Property size
- Type of care delivered
This data was subsequently analysed, in the context of the benchmarking and research undertaken, to inform the local cost of care which was provided to the Authority as the final part of a comprehensive report.
The final report summarising C.Co’s findings, presented a clear evidence base to inform how the council sets its future fee levels and commissions the in scope Care services.
Information provided to inform the actual cost of care was submitted by care providers. It was given on the undertaking that the data gathered from the consultation exercise would not be used for any purposes other than to inform the council’s pricing strategy. All raw data and information provided to C.Co was treated, stored and analysed as confidential material. The information provided has not been disclosed to any internal or external stakeholders.
‘C.Co’s unique approach to defining a fair cost of care allowed for genuine market engagement. I would recommend to any authority looking to undertake a similar exercise.’
Kate Phillips, Senior Manager – Contracts and Quality Assurance, Cheshire West and Chester Council
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