The Disabilities Trust - Care Provider Cost Clarity

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The Challenge

  • Difficulty for The Disabilities Trust staff to work in a consistent way when managing 250 different commissioning authorities and a wide range of care settings
  • Negotiations expending a lot of time for both The Disabilities Trust staff and commissioners
  • Lack of price benchmark data to show value for money – for internal use as well as externally

The Solution

  • CareCubed implemented for a pilot set of assessments and placement fee renegotiations
  • Training of senior staff as advocates of CareCubed to drive through change
  • Roll out via a major programme of reassessment and renegotiation across several hundred placements
  • Lack of price benchmark data to show value for money – for internal use as well as externally

Results

  • Clearer definition of support needs for supported individuals, with adjustment in support level and/or placement price for 75% of pilot group
  • Greater objectivity and reduced to-ing and fro-ing in the negotiation process
  • Identification of opportunities for internal efficiency savings

The Disabilities Trust is a leading national charity offering specialist community-based and residential support for adults with acquired brain injury, complex physical or learning disabilities and for people with autism. The Disabilities Trust recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, and support over 500 people across the UK.

The Disabilities Trust wanted to achieve greater transparency and consistency in their dealings with commissioners. With the ongoing situation of stretched council finances, it was important for The Disabilities Trust to be able to be clear as to what commissioners are paying for, demonstrating value for money as well as ensuring that The Disabilities Trust remains financially viable. Working with commissioners from 250 different local authorities was a challenge in itself, with such a variety of different approaches in place. Therefore the The Disabilities Trust adopted CareCubed as a well-known and unbiassed tool that could be used across the geographical spread of the The Disabilities Trust’s care settings.

The Disabilities Trust already had a core staffing level and core fee defined for each of its settings, but where individual needs were greater than core, local operations managers needed to make adjustments. CareCubed allows for a granular assessment of need to make it absolutely clear what support is to be provided for an individual with complex needs, therefore assisting operations managers to ensure that the right package of care is in place with nothing left out. This granular assessment of needs and comparison with core offer has also led to some individuals being supported to step-down to lower-intensity settings and also provides a useful baseline for re-assessment should needs change.

“CareCubed’s clear and visually appealing outputs have helped take the
heat out of negotiation. CareCubed reduces uncertainty for us as a
provider, and promotes greater collaborative working with commissioners
and shared accountability for changes.”

Lynsey Robertson
Director of Business Development and Programme Management
The Disabilities Trust

Previously, negotiations with commissioners had often been time-consuming, with a lot of back-and-forth discussion and queries. Now using CareCubed, the Trust are readily able to provide a thorough and easy-to-understand breakdown of care needs and how this relates to the placement price. This provides a clear and objective starting point for price negotiations and as a cloud-based product, CareCubed is a perfect mechanism to collaborate on placements without the need for numerous emails and telephone calls. Lynsey Robertson, Director of Business Development and Programme Management explains “CareCubed’s clear and visually appealing outputs have short-cut the process and helped take the heat out of negotiations. CareCubed reduces uncertainty for us as a provider, and promotes greater collaborative working with commissioners and shared accountability for changes.”

The Disabilities Trust are also using CareCubed internally as a benchmark comparison on their overheads and supports long term financial planning and sustainability. Michael Foley, Funding and Assessment Manager explains “CareCubed’s benchmark figures allow us to identify outliers on overhead costs and take action to achieve efficiency saving at a service or unit level.” The Disabilities Trust have implemented CareCubed in stages, starting with a pilot group of assessments where it was found that adjustments were needed for about 75% of the pilot group. CareCubed training has taken place with senior staff to build advocates for CareCubed and for a change in approach. This is now being cascaded to other staff, in readiness for a major review and reassessment of needs and placement fees for several hundred people.

“CareCubed’s benchmark figures allow us to identify outliers on
overhead costs and take action to achieve efficiency saving at a service
or unit level.”

Michael Foley
Funding and Assessment Manager,
The Disabilities Trust

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