The Care Act reinforced Local Authorities’ responsibilities to monitor the quality of independent care businesses, however the fragility of the care market is one of the things keeping Directors awake at night. ADASS’ own budget survey identified the increase in Care Providers closing down and handing back contracts. When a Provider fails, the knock-on effects to people who use care and support services, Care Workers and Council’s own staff are devastating. 

So how can today's innovative technology help mitigate risks by identifying potential Provider failure?

 Digitally capturing risk indicators in real time: 

Understanding actual service delivery against agreed contracts is an important part of supporting and protecting vulnerable people. Digital innovation is making it easier to automatically bring together a wide range of market oversight information that reflects real-time risks facing Care Providers, including;

  • Longitudinal quality indicators sourced from the Regulator and the council’s own quality assurance systems
  • Digitally collect contract performance indicators, frequently and in real time
  • On-line service user & stakeholder feedback
  • Over the threshold intelligence like missed visits and care worker continuity
  • Hard and soft intelligence from safeguarding systems & serious concerns review teams
  • Real time company financial oversight including ownership changes and Directors performance

 Sharing risk intelligence with relevant stakeholders:

Market oversight technology is readily available, offering exception-based alerting, that can underpin collaboration by sharing intelligence with local, regional and national colleagues. Market oversight supports provider risk profiling to help Local Authorities;

  • respond to warning flags & intervene before it’s too late
  • commission intelligently
  • support market shaping - targeting common risks

 Swiftly apply risk mitigation action plans:

Care regulators don’t have the capacity to work closely with care Providers who require a corrective action plan. Some ADASS areas have solved this problem using on-line co-production technology. Provider quality assessment technology measures contracted performance indicators and supports co-production of action plans for areas of concern (to increase quality). The technology then demonstrates longitudinal intervention impacts, which feed back into the risk profile view of a Provider.

In today’s volatile, cash-strapped social care market there is an appetite for technology that can efficiently collect, process and report on essential data to help with safeguarding and identifying risks. If that means less people having to face the upheaval of their care Provider failing then that’s surely got to be a good thing. The technology is here, and it works.

This blog was written by Mark Thomas, Innovation Director, HAS Technology