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Social Care budget cuts and how to achieve them

Posted on 08/05/2013 by Jamie Horton in Category Local authorities
Today’s research findings from ADASS​, revealing that £800 million is likely to be taken from the £16 billion social care budget, reflects the enormous challenge the country is facing in terms of a growing ageing workforce and the increasing complexity of our care needs.  Our adult care system is experiencing a shift towards more personalised care; meaning the person being cared for or their carer’s are determining the kind of care needed.  As a result the system is becoming highly fragmented in terms of the number of suppliers delivering services and the variety of services on offer.

The complexity of suppliers and services has given rise to a lack of visibility on what is being spent and poor information on who is supplying what services. Interestingly, social care directors said they ‘were trying to make savings through measures such as more efficient working and better procurement’ so it is encouraging to see that the symptoms of the spiralling expenditure, and ‘wastage’ are being looked at.

However, I believe before any cuts are implemented every Local Authority should put in place policies, using business intelligence technology and procurement practices that give them full visibility and ultimately, control, of what they are spending. Once the business intelligence is gathered and analysed, the procurement of services needs to be examined, scrutinising the value delivered by suppliers and setting up a centralised system whereby all records of payment are visible.   

Crucially, these measures will achieve the cost savings needed and will at the same time, set up a competitive but fair system for suppliers to deliver services.  Effective procurement encourages the best quality suppliers to deliver better services with the result that the quality of care to the public stays at the highest possible level.