Frameworks for results, commissioning for people

Featured article - 29 January 2021
By Karyn Kirkpatrick, Chief Executive Officer, KeyRing

Karyn Kirkpatrick, Chief Executive Officer, KeyRing

Social care is about people living in a place they call home. It is being part of a community where they are valued and included. It is building and/or maintaining independence. Some people need support with personal care, for others their social care support is something very different.

Frameworks, done well, support people to make decisions in the knowledge that they are choosing a trusted and known provider.

For example, the South Gloucestershire, Community Based Support Service Framework focusses on outcomes and the specialisms of the provider They break spot contracts into care delivery and non-care delivery packages of support. Those who are seeking support that is not care related are not limited to Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered providers. They have more choice and control.

Recently, we have noticed a growing trend to include CQC registration as a framework pre-requisite. However, only support providers who deliver personal care can be CQC registered. So, are we saying that all providers must be delivering personal care? If so, how does this impact on people’s choice?

CQC registered?

We, and others, are in a cycle with CQC advising that they do not regulate our activities whilst Local Authority Frameworks insist on CQC registration to provide non-care support. Not everyone who needs social care needs CQC registered services. This perception that all social care providers should be CQC registered is not only wrong, it is damaging. It reduces choice. It relies on CQC registration as a marker of good non-care outcomes.

The report ‘Commissioning for Better Outcomes: A Route Map’ states that: ‘The focus of high-quality commissioning is on citizenship, health and wellbeing: achieving good outcomes with people using evidence, local knowledge, skills and resources to best effect’.

A wider approach to frameworks will better deliver this. It opens the framework to different skills and opportunities. It opens local authorities to a range of innovative approaches for example, those included Think Local Act Personal’s innovations in community centred support.

For our part, we will continue to design our services around individuals and their communities and challenge the barriers that limit options for people who use social care and support.

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