- 19 July 2017
- 3 min read
Mark Redmond: the future of social care commissioning
Over the past few years adult social care has been in crisis, and the landscape of adult social care is beginning to change significantly. Now, the ‘tectonic plates’ are still moving but there are some key facts emerging concerning where they may end up.
Adult social care refers to the support adults receive who may have disabilities, learning difficulties, and sensory loss.
It is designed to help those at need live as independently as possible, whilst supporting their emotional and mental needs, and assisting their daily lives.
Below, Mark Redmond discusses the issues surrounding adult social care, and what may lie ahead in the future.
We'd like to thank Mark for sharing his experience with us.
What challenges currently surround adult social care?
Taking the plight of older people first, austerity has left about 1.3 million people aged over 65 either malnourished or at risk of malnourishment. This alone is a significant factor that causes delays in hospital discharge.
When you add to this almost 19,500 residential and nursing home beds disappeared from the sector due to home closures, then there is no escaping the problem that is emerging.
What do you believe the causes of these are?
One of the reasons for the current crisis is the breakdown of adult social care commissioning by local social services.
Across the country, agencies are handing back their contracts and refusing to tender for business. In fact, 4 out of 5 local authorities in the UK have insufficient care for older in their area; Some 6.4 million people aged over 65 are living in areas that no longer have care services to meet demand.
The cause of this shift is partly because local social services departments cannot pay a full market cost for care. They haven’t been for some time.
What has changed, however, is the costs on employers has increased significantly, to a point where there is no longer any economic sense in tendering for contracts.
The government has recently told the electorate that there is no magical money tree, and whilst austerity may be coming to an end, no one is yet to gamble on the prices offered by local councils increasing.
What challenges do you foresee in the future?
My money is on the emergence of a new set of organisations that are better able to weather some of the financial challenges we have seen recently. These organisations such as CiC’s and public sector mutuals have different financial models.
They’re supported by crowdfunding, and are often community based making them far more likely to draw on a volunteer army of fit older people providing support in their local communities.
Already they have different financial demands and expectations.
In 5 years’ time, they’ll be giving existing businesses a run for their money!