CareCubed is the market-leading care pricing tool which offers a transparent solution to help local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and care providers agree the cost and scope of placements, helping both parties achieve the right care at a fair price based on individual client needs.

CareCubed was designed by the local government not-for-profit consultancy iESE and has been rapidly adopted since its launch in 2019, building on the success of its predecessor the Care Funding Calculator. CareCubed, which has versions for both the children’s and adult market and is currently used by more than 80 organisations, including a third of local authorities, brings transparency to negotiations between care providers and commissioners.

Using CareCubed, the care commissioner inputs details about the client’s needs based on an individual assessment. The system, which uses annually updated model benchmarking data, generates a guide price for the placement, whether it is new or being renegotiated. The tool produces an initial guideline as a starting point for discussions. It also keeps a record of what was decided and why as a reminder the next time a placement is reviewed. The tool evidences compliance with the Care Act around the duty to meet the individual’s needs and can also help ensure clients are not over prescribed care packages which can help with regaining or retaining independence.

A recent adaptation has also been made to help users record improvement outcomes – time-limited goals to improve independence – as well the initial and ongoing assessments of needs. iESE, which works closely with its user base to support best practice use of CareCubed, is actively encouraging its customer base to seek greater collaboration between social workers and care commissioners.

“We are encouraging our local authorities to make sure there is really good join up between their social care practice and their brokerage or commissioning teams so they can challenge constructively with providers to ensure what is being offered is tailored to individual needs and not a one-size-fits-all offering.”

Vanda Leary, Digital Business Lead at iESE.

“We are encouraging our local authorities to make sure there is really good join up between their social care practice and their brokerage or commissioning teams so they can challenge constructively with providers to ensure what is being offered is tailored to individual needs and not a one-size-fits-all offering. It can be that they are getting higher levels of support than is necessary and that can be counter productive when you are trying to support people to greater independence and dignity in their everyday lives,” said Vanda Leary, Digital Business Lead at iESE.

“CareCubed is a tool that can be used across teams in the local authority and really allows for that joined up process with social workers, brokerage teams, commissioners and senior managers enabling them all to securely access the aspects of CareCubed appropriate to their roles,” she added, “Even when sourcing placements for children in what is widely considered as a ‘broken market, CareCubed users have been able to more confidently challenge providers to achieve better value for money.”

As a secure cloud-based tool, CareCubed is well-positioned to support collaboration across care systems. iESE has recently introduced the CareCubed place-based module allowing local authorities to collaborate with Clinical Commissioning Groups, partners and care providers through CareCubed to better join up delivery of services through their Integrated Care Systems and place-based working. iESE has also recently launched an online CareCubed community for its users. “The CareCubed community puts CareCubed users directly in touch with each other and really promotes sharing of good practice, ”Leary added. Considering individual needs CareCubed’s structured and person-centred approach to recording needs makes it easy to track he requirements of people with complex conditions, including those with fluctuating or intermittent needs, rehabilitation or re-enablement goals and those with deteriorating conditions.

This approach helps commissioners and providers ensure needs are met in the most value for money way whilst delivering flexible, tailored and transparent support. The tool also encourages commissioners and providers to consider the level of care needed when sourcing and evaluating placements.

The CareCubed Hierarchy of Need pyramid (see the diagram on the left) aims to remind commissioners to consider all options available to an individual before opting for the highest level of support a provider offers. “The Hierarchy of Needs is an aide memoire around the strengths-based approach. It helps remind commissioners to look at what the person can do and what support they already have. What this means is that the local authority is commissioning support to fill in the gaps and right-size care to allow the individual to live their life as they would like to,” Leary added.

To find out more about CareCubed, please email carecubed@iese.org.uk

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