Understanding the Fair Cost of Care in South Tyneside

The Assignment

Following the publication of the Government’s People at the Heart of Care Adult Social Care Reform White Paper, local authorities are required to work with their markets to ensure sustainability of local social care provision. South Tyneside Council was seeking support to work in partnership with the Council and service providers to support the Market Sustainability and Fair Cost of Care exercise for older people care homes across the region. 31ten were commissioned to deliver this work and lead the engagement with service providers to collect the required data on operating costs and returns on operation and capital (ROO and ROC) . We undertook a comprehensive analysis of the data to assess the distribution and median points for costs. Building on this, we modelled a range of scenarios to enable the Council to make informed decisions on costs of care and fee setting going forward. We also supported the development of South Tyneside’s Market Sustainability Plan, setting out the Council’s plans to address market challenges and move forward with implementing costs of care

The Role

Our approach was as follows:

Data gathering and engagement

  • Provide guidance and support providers to complete data submissions; achieving an 83% return rate (c.20 providers)
  • Review data and resolve data submission issues, identifying any outliers and understanding the rationale for these from providers
  • Run workshops with providers to review and discuss the findings from the data analysis, and communicate which data will be submitted in the return to DHSC
  • Data analysis to develop different scenarios for operational costs, ROO and ROC

Local Fair Cost of Care and Market Sustainability

  • Identify critical drivers of market sustainability alongside the market
  • Work through the Council’s proposed scenarios for operational costs, ROO and ROC with providers, and the plan to implement local costs of care
  • Develop the market sustainability plan, assessing the existing market challenges across supply and demand, costs and workforce and identifying key actions to address these with providers

Following the first phase of this work, South Tyneside asked us to support with the second phase of the work from the start of 2023 – encompassing the market position, nursing providers, and overall cost of care – which we are continuing to support them with.

Key Outcomes

The key outcomes from the work included:

  • The Council developed a comprehensive and robust understanding of the costs for delivering older people care home provision locally, to inform future fee setting and support sustainability of providers going forward
  • The Council has established strong relationships with care home providers through an extensive and interactive process of engagement with the market
  • The Council has established a plan co-developed with providers, to address supply and demand, costs and workforce challenges, and further support market sustainability