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).
Senior managers should:
- Determine the range of costs of adult placements compared to other suitable service options, taking into account the needs of and outcomes for service users.
Adult placement schemes should:
- Understand their unit costs, and cost comparisons with other services, and ensure this information is available to service commissioners.