The organisation that represents Shropshire’s care providers has joined forces with the county’s two local authorities in a bid to establish the realistic cost of providing care.
Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council are jointly funding a research project with Shropshire Partners in Care to research vital information on the different elements of delivering care including staffing, training, and other overheads.
The project is a venture towards bridging the gap in understanding between the increasing costs of providing adult social home care and the council funding.
It involves a six-month research survey conducted by an experienced financial expert. More than 200 adult social care providers are being asked to complete a confidential questionnaire about their costs. The results will be used to inform both councils when they decide future funding agreements.
Nicky Jacques, Chief Officer of Shropshire Partners in Care, said the project was an important way to ensure a fair fee for care.
“The disparity between the cost of providing care and council funding is an issue. We accept that the councils face a difficult situation due to their settlements from the Government but this project aims to recognise the realities and complexities of delivering provision, with real evidence from providers.
“It is a positive move by both councils to fund this project and we are very grateful. We would urge all care providers to respond with as much information as possible so we can build up an accurate and robust picture.”
Councillor Lee Chapman, Cabinet Member for Adult Services at Shropshire Council, said: “Whilst there is a significant amount of work conducted nationally to establish ‘standard’ or ‘fair’ fee rates, we know that Shropshire as a county presents its own issues and points of difference, influenced by factors such as geography, demographics, historic provision, labour market and the nature/structure of the ownership profile.
“Over the coming months the council will, unavoidably, need to revisit the fee structure – but wants to do so in a realistic and flexible way that, so far as possible within an overall funding envelope, it reflects the views, concerns and ideas of providers.”
Arnold England, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care from Telford & Wrekin Council, said: “The council is also talking with national and regional commissioning colleagues about their costs to ensure we get the price right for sustainable care and support at a time when, due to cuts in Government grant, we must make £30 million of cuts.
“This local project is a really positive, important and collaborative approach with partners to openly establish the costs and income of differing types of care and support in Telford & Wrekin.
“We hope this can provide a sound basis and understanding by all concerned when looking at future fee rates to enable sustainable care in such a challenging financial climate.”
A final report and its conclusions will be published in later this year.