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Care England collects F.O.I. data on fees

Caring Times, July/August 2018

Provider representative body Care England has initiated a series of Freedom of Information requests across 152 councils to gather data on commissioning activity for 2018/19.

This data is being collected on the themes of fees paid by councils for residential, nursing home and supported living care, as well as use of resources and placement activity across older people and learning disability care. Once collated, Care England will triangulate responses with other data such as quality ratings, projections on bed numbers and staffing, and analysis of council’s spending plans to build up a comprehensive picture of how each council is responding to the challenges and opportunities of supporting a sustainable local care market.

The data will itself build upon a similar spreadsheet constructed by Care England for 2017/18,that was used to target councils where analysis indicated a combination of concerns based upon the relative positions of the particular council in comparison to other councils regionally or nationally.

This targeted approach opened up a number of informed debates between commissioners and providers on how to respond to local concerns, including meetings with East Sussex, Oxfordshire, Blackpool and Staffordshire councils. The importance of Care England’s approach is that for the first time, data from a range of sources has been pulled together in such a way that both commissioners and providers can recognise common issues and look at ways to take a more holistic view of actions that support a dynamic sustainable market.

The secret to this approach is that data has come from public sources, avoiding technical queries about authenticity and interpretation, and the triangulation of data is not based upon any preconceived assumptions.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said: “Care England is keen to work with commissioners and other stakeholders using an evidence based approach. Real lasting change must be driven by understanding what works and what can be improved, and Care England’s spreadsheet is a step forward towards a more rounded mature conversation and joint working”

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