820x340 Case Study - Social Care Staffing Crisis

Social Care Staffing Crisis SOW

A completely fresh approach to resource management within social care makes it possible for this county council to radically change the way resources are optimised within its adult social care service.


The Customer

Our client is a large upper-tier English county council, responsible for delivering quality services and value for money on behalf of its 600,000+ residents. With a headcount of 5,000, the organisation is one of the largest employers in the local area and has a gross expenditure budget of over £932m. With a population which is ageing faster than the national average, this local authority was reporting significant spend across adult services and social care.

The Challenge

The adult social care sector as a whole is under strain across the UK, with a worsening staffing crisis leaving thousands of individuals without adequate care. Contingent labour supply can be used to tackle some of the tactical staffing issues the council was experiencing and it felt that the time was right to adopt a far more cost-effective results driven approach. The council sought the advice and vast expertise of Comensura to overcome this challenging set of circumstances. A statement of work (SOW) solution was seen as the most efficient and cost-effective way forward.

The Solution

Ongoing staffing and resource challenges could be most effectively managed through a defined SOW project – one that was characterised by measurable outputs and aligned to milestone payments.

This solution allows the council’s adult services teams to focus on the provision of current services and caseload management, while referring new referrals to a totally outsourced service.

Our role was to help the council to initially build the specification of requirements and ensure it met the needs and demands of all stakeholders. The supplier selection and evaluation process was the next critical stage and also involved a competitive tendering exercise which was based on a range of cost and quality criteria. All of this was effectively controlled and mandated through our bespoke SOW technology platform.

Crucially, at this stage we also offered nominated suppliers the freedom to design their own solutions in terms of both cost and delivery methodology. This helped to enhance the innovative and creative ways in which suppliers could add real value to their service and challenge the historical mindset of the council.

After the supplier was appointed, we worked closely with all key stakeholders during the mobilisation of the SOW project. This included directors and mangers in adult services as well as HR and procurement teams to ensure the seamless integration of the new service. The SOW project outcomes were clearly defined and aligned to milestone payments and the whole service delivery model was managed by the supplier in order to minimise disruption to BAU tasks and activities.

The project was managed through our in-house SOW c.net platform. Outputs, timelines and costs are all clearly defined, approved, updated and tracked within the system, creating a single source of information across the full SOW project life cycle. Any variances to SOW costs, timelines or overall project scope are effectively controlled by the client through a clear approval and authorisation process.

The key features and benefits of this SOW solution has already been used and applied elsewhere within the Council across a multitude of other categories of service supply.