15th August 2012
Capita IB Solutions Helps to Shape the Adult Social Care Market
A care home bed monitoring system, developed by Capita IB Solutions for Nottinghamshire County Council, has been acknowledged in a report carried out by the cross-party All Party Parliamentary Local Government Group.
The Local Government All Party Parliamentary Group, one of the largest All Party Groups in Parliament, publishes its report “Care now and for the future", following its social care inquiry. The group, which is drawn from MPs and Peers from all parties across the House of Commons and House of Lords, makes four key recommendations on what can be done between now and 2015 to reform the care system and meet current funding challenges.
Among these recommendations was the proposal that local authorities should emulate best practice in order to help people to stay independent for longer, to manage and stimulate a market of care provision, and to ensure that all citizens, not just those funded by the council, receive timely and appropriate advice about their care options and how to manage their finances effectively to meet the costs of their care.
Acting as a Market-Shaper
An example of best practice at Nottinghamshire County Council was highlighted in the report. In order to ensure that the public receives appropriate care fees advice, Nottinghamshire County Council awarded a contract to Capita IB Solutions to develop a software solution that will monitor and record the occupancy and vacancies of beds within care homes in Nottinghamshire.
The council implemented the care home bed monitoring system from March 2012 for care homes for older people. The system is web-based, and will enable people to search for all care homes in Nottinghamshire and to find out how many beds are available at any moment in time.
Through this software, the council will receive details whenever a self-funder has entered a care home, and the system will also automatically remind care homes of the importance of self-funders obtaining advice. The software will also send a notification to Paying for Care, a non-profit company, notifying them that an unnamed self-funder has entered the care home. It will then arrange for an independent care fees adviser to contact the care home, seeking permission to meet with the new self-funder. It is proposed that the county council works with Capita IB Solutions to market and sell the care home bed monitoring system to health and other local authorities.
For further information about Capita IB Solutions' bed monitoring system, please click here.
The report’s four key recommendations are:
1. Local government and the NHS must integrate services and budgets, changing the focus of social care services and spending towards prevention. Community Budgets, which are currently being piloted by the government, should be implemented across all local authority areas with a focus on prevention.
2. Health and Wellbeing Boards are making an impact and have great potential. These Boards need powers to influence the NHS Commissioning Board’s plans, and the right to challenge those plans if they do not meet the joint health and wellbeing strategy. The NHS Commissioning Board should have a duty to cooperate with the Health and Wellbeing Boards. The NHS and local authorities should be required to make an Annual Statement that accounts for all NHS and adult social care expenditure so that members of Health and Wellbeing Boards can scrutinise and challenge the choices made. This information should be made available publicly.
3. The funding gap is around 4.4% per year, equivalent to £634 million. To close this gap, the Government should re-direct additional resources from NHS budgets to preventative care. In the current year £622 million of NHS money has been invested in social care. but this should be doubled in 2012/13 and 2014/15 using funds from NHS underspends (currently £1.5bn).
4. The role of local authorities needs to evolve to help people lead independent lives, remain financially independent and to shape social care markets. All citizens, not just those funded by the council, should receive “timely and appropriate advice about their care options and about how to manage their finances effectively to meet the costs of their care”.