Fair, Local and Sustainable Care

Having spent my career working within the public sector, I have long understood, that the increasing demand upon adult social care is one of the most significant challenge facing local government; and like most families in the UK, personal experience has taught me the paramount importance of safe, personalised and empathetic care for our most vulnerable adults.

But these personal experiences did not give me an understanding of just exactly how complex and difficult some of the issues inherent in the adult social care system are; both the challenges that face commissioners on a daily basis, when commissioning care, or the providers in delivering personalised and sustainable care.

That appreciation has only come from engaging and working with providers and commissioners up and down the country through working with both providers and commissioners helping them agree what represents a true cost of core.

You get a unique insight when you work with both the public and private sectors. You develop an understanding which cuts across the political and philosophical tribes and is based on views across the system. This is especially true when working with both commissioners and providers; on the highly emotive subject of establishing what constitutes a fair price to pay for care; you could be forgiven for being under the illusion that it is an ‘us vs them’ scenario. Whilst it would be wrong to say that this is never the case; it is certainly not my experience.

It is far more complex than that.

Grappling with restricted budgets (councils), narrow margins (providers), increasing cost pressures (councils and providers) demands for higher skills whilst at the same time reducing differentials from roles which were always less well paid, recruitment issues, increasing demand, increasing polarisation of care provision, increasing legislative requirements, large, regional and very local suppliers with very different cost bases, different business models, commissioning models all make for a complex mix!!!

My takeaway on all of this. Don’t work on broad assumptions. Collaboration between providers and commissioners, and an understand of local markers and costs = good outcomes for everyone.

Natalie Abraham

C.Co Chief Operating Officer