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Update from Kieran Topping (Cornwall Council)

Posted on the 7th July 2016

Following a useful meeting with Kieran Topping (Assistant Head of Service – Commercial Services), Kieran has provided a response to some of the issues raised.

Dear Care Providers,

I wanted to send out an update about the areas we are working on following my meetings with a number of you over the last few weeks. I have also met with the various Council teams and can say that they are also working hard to make changes and think about how to do things differently. At the moment there are four main areas that we’re investigating further as follows:

  1. Payments through ECM, now that the uplift for Lot 1 is completed across all service user packages, which was a significant task, we are in a position to move to using FM for the payments for providers and to make it as automated (with reduced audit checks) as possible. The team are looking to move onto this new payment approach for the July/August payment period, which starts on 11th July. This is intended to have a positive impact on payments and cashflow. I am aware that this will impact Lot 1 only.
  2. Client Charging – I am aware that officers are already looking at this and have been carrying out research with other Local Authorities. A business case is being worked up which I am providing support around to look at the Council collecting care contributions. This is a significant shift in the method of delivery and we have not yet worked up a full detailed case about how this will work and cost. The scope of this work would also not just be the care at home service, but also care and nursing homes and I would see a pilot or trial of this change being key to a successful transition. I will keep you updated on the progress of this business case. I would be interested in hearing what the impact of this change would be to your organisation at our next meeting (or by email in advance) and am sure there is a role for you to provide information and details about the process and debt levels to feed into the business case. 
  3. Reviews when need reduces – a few of you have mentioned to me that when you tell us that people’s needs have reduced nothing happens. I know that Liz and her team are currently arranging an option to allow the hours to be reduced if the needs can still be met. As well as this there are discussions taking place around options with Care Management about capacity and their role in reassessments.
  4. Contract Management – In this final year of the contract I think it would be beneficial for us to focus our thinking on future models and delivery, and one way of freeing up some capacity would be to relax the contract management arrangements. There are some options around this, and I would like to hear from you which would work best for you so that we can have a discussion about these and best ways forward. So please can you let me know either by email or at the next CPIC meeting on the ordering of the following:
    1. Moving from quarterly to 6 monthly contract management meetings.
    2. Reduce the workbook submission timeframe to 6 months.
    3. Remove the requirement to bid for all packages from brokerage and the need for under 10 call-off failures per month.
    4. Relaxing KPIs around KPI3 Service User Surveys, KPI4 Data Breach self-reporting, PM3 Staff training, PM6 Assistive Technology referrals, PM7 sub-contracting, PM8 around brokerage.
    5. I would also like to hear what other aspects would/could be beneficial to you around contract management.
These are not the only activities that are happening, the Council teams are working on a number of issues to make improvements and positive changes on an ongoing basis. There is a lot of work and planning required for the re-commissioning but if we can progress some of these short term points this would be beneficial to both side, and I will aim to keep you updated.