For too long Councils have been engaged with providers in the social care market with a primary focus on fee rates. We would suggest this is not the best way to develop a lasting relationship, particularly when so much more can and must be achieved together (think co-production). The Care Act made this relationship between a Council and the social care market a critical element encouraging as it did a dialogue "leading to a sustainable and diverse range of care and support providers, continuously improving quality and choice, and delivering better, innovative and cost effective outcomes". In Hertfordshire and Lincolnshire new 'strategic' relationships have been developed that go much further than the limited dialogue on 'the money' that we previously endured.  In our two examples we will indicate what more can and is being done to place social care commissioners and providers in a better space, together.

Glen Garrod & Iain MacBeath
Melanie Weatherley - Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association (LINCA)
Sharon Davies – Chief Executive, Hertfordshire Care Providers Association