Improving outcomes for service users in adult placement - Commissioning and care management

Commissioning adult placement - Value for money

Commissioners considering service options take into account value for money as well as outcomes for prospective service users. There is currently little hard evidence available about the cost of adult placement services compared with other service options (e.g. care homes, day centres). Anecdotally, there is a perception that adult placement is less expensive than alternative services, but several scheme managers warned against looking at adult placement as the 'cheap option’.

An analysis of costs in six schemes providing a range of residential and day services to different client groups, carried out by NAAPS for the Department of Health, shows wide variations depending on the support needs of service users, but generally significantly lower unit costs compared with other forms of social care provision. This document stresses however that the responsiveness and flexibility that are particularly valued in adult placement make it difficult to cost and measure services (10).

Practice points

Senior managers should:

Adult placement schemes should: