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Benchmarking exercise encompassing all residential and nursing care homes in West Sussex

Dear Care Home Provider

WSCC is commissioning a consultancy to support us to undertake a benchmarking exercise encompassing all residential and nursing care homes in the County.

The purpose of this exercise is to support adult social care commissioners in setting sustainable rates for the many millions of pounds worth of public money it spends each year placing vulnerable over-65s in care homes. As you may know, this work has been commissioned twice before and has given providers a valuable opportunity to share in detail the true costs of operating in this market around the County. The outputs have given the Council a sound basis on which to set rates at a sustainable level for the benefit of all parties.

This work will consist of the following phases:

Phase 1: Engagement with all care home providers
The Council will invite all providers to briefing sessions in a couple of locations at which the exercise and headline timings will be explained. Providers will have the opportunity to ask questions about the objectives and the technical aspects of the exercise. Council representatives and PA Consulting will be present.

Phase 2: Data collection
WSCC will seek information from all providers, this will form the raw material in the benchmarking exercise. We wish to stress the following:
• The data required will be no more detailed that that required in a typical Profit and Loss return to Companies House
• The benchmark results will be made available in an anonymised form to PARTICIPATING providers, to enable each one to see how they compare to the averages in their locality
• At no point will the total raw database of information collected be accessible to the Council, nor will any provider have access to any data submitted by another provider.

All providers will be sent a link to a short online form that will ask for data about each home. The consultancy has endeavoured to keep the amount of data required to an absolute minimum so completion of the return should not be burdensome. A helpline will be available if providers have questions when filling in the return.

In addition to this quantitative data, we will also conduct a series of facilitated focus groups to which providers will be invited. The purpose will be to explore issues such as the impact of the national living wage, pension auto-enrolment and the apprenticeship levy. These discussions will help increase the Council’s understanding of current and potential pressures providers operate under.

Phase 3: Analysis of data returns
Following the collection of data, our consultants will apply quality control techniques to identify errors or outliers, which will be followed up and resolved. They will then use a proven method to analyse and present the results

Phase 4: Feedback
Once the Council is satisfied that the benchmarking exercise has been completed and the analysis is robust, the data will be circulated to all providers who submitted data. The material will give providers a useful insight into their own costs and how these compare to averages achieved by other provider in the County.
Deployment of the model in practice
Once the final benchmark data is handed over, the Council plans to use it to inform its own deliberations regarding a sustainable rate for various categories of care in different locations across the County. In addition, we may use the data to support the agreement of one-off rates in individual negotiations with providers.

Further information will be issued by 19th January 2018.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Contracts & Performance

Contracts Team
Directorate: Children, Adults, Families, Health and Education
Department: Adult Operations
West Sussex County Council
Location: Room 52, West Wing, County Hall, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1RG
Contact: Internal: 25553 | External: +44 (0)330 22 25553
E-mail: contracts@westsussex.gov.uk