C.Co was commissioned to complete an independent review of the Trust’s approach to financial planning, incorporating:
- A review of the budget forecasting which underpinned the Medium Term Financial Planning, this included analysis which lead to a view on the cost of care in the city for looked after children (LAC) and identified the key factors influencing cost.
- A critique of the approach to demand management, which incorporated comparison against good practice elsewhere.
- Identification of opportunities to support further development of the Trust’s early help offer.
C.Co worked collaboratively with the Trust Management Team to undertake this review.
To inform the financial position, different scenarios were modelled, based on historic trend analysis as well as local insights.
All aspects of the scope were affected by demand pressures. The biggest demographic pressure was associated with the cost of LAC placements. This was driven in part by factors outside the control of the Trust, such as socio-economic issues and a lower national tolerance of risk, as well as factors that can potentially be influenced, such as the complexity of care required (different approaches to early intervention), the cost of residential places (market engagement), risk management thresholds and the provision of early help.
Recommendations were structured to support the Trust in being financially sustainable in the context of the challenging backdrop of demand and complexity. Detailed modelling was provided to support the direction of travel.
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