Existing commissioning models have proved “incapable” of responding to a “new reality” imposed on the adult social care sector as a result of COVID-19, Care England has warned.
In its submission to the Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry into the operation of the adult social care market, the representative body said a new commissioning system must be created that is responsive to the needs of the sector, both in terms of continuing healthcare and local authority funded rates.
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “With the Public Accounts Committee’s great standing and reputation for holding bodies to account we hope that this inquiry will encourage a change in commissioning processes in order to support provider sustainability.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the importance of creating markets that support rather than undermine the adult social care sector’s development.”
The Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry will examine how adult social care is currently provided and structured; the Department of Health and Social Care’s effectiveness in overseeing the market and holding providers to account, and its understanding of future demand, costs and alternative delivery models; the impact of COVID-19 on the market; and the sector’s financial sustainability.
It follows the release of a new white paper, which proposes improving government oversight of the delivery of social care and giving the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care improved powers to make payments directly to adult social care providers, where necessary.
Green continued: “We need a new vision for adult social care, one that focuses on moving from a crisis orientated system to one that is asset based and maintains choice, autonomy and control for people as much as possible. It must also deliver services that are connected to the heart of local communities. For too long, adult social care commissioning has, in many parts of England, served to merely undermine provider sustainability.”