To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health and the Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing seeking agreement to confirm new guide prices for Older Persons residential and nursing care.
Ms C Holden, Head of Strategic Commissioning – Accommodation Solutions, and Ms C Maynard, Procurement Category Manager – Care, were in attendance for this item.
1. The Cabinet Member, Mr Gibbens, explained that a revised covering report and exempt Appendix 1 had been issued to Committee Members. The reason for doing so was that, as explained in the original report, he had asked for external validation of the work which had been done ‘in-house’ to calculate the ‘actual cost’. When the papers needed to be published in the evening of 3 July, the validation had not quite been complete. In the week preceding this Committee meeting, officers had been able to work with Grant Thornton, who had been engaged to undertake the validation, to refine the model, the assumptions and the data input, into what was a very complex model. The result of that work was that the ‘actual cost’ and the recommended ‘guide price’ had changed slightly. Therefore, the Committee now had in front of it the revised Appendix 1 which reflected the updated figures.
2. The Chairman then asked Members of the Committee if, in debate, they wished to refer to any of the information included in the exempt appendix to the report. Members confirmed that they did not wish to do so and the item was therefore considered without going into closed session.
3. Ms Holden then introduced the report and summarised the procurement process which had been followed. She explained that the purpose of reviewing the guide price was to provide greater clarity on the costs the Council could expect to pay and make it clear to service users any additional ‘top up’ they would be required to contribute should they choose a different home. There would be a change in how residential and nursing care was to be purchased in future, to achieve transparency and fairness and allow optimum choice. Mr Ireland added that the depth and extent of the data assessed as part of the current procurement exercise was due to the fact that the service had not been reviewed for some twelve years. Ms Holden responded to comments and questions from Members and the following points were highlighted:-
a) concern was expressed that, now that use of geographical banding was to be discontinued, areas of Kent bordering London would be adversely affected by London pricing. Ms Holden explained that the new bands for types of care had been set to take account of the impact of London prices upon West Kent, and the intention was to address any gap between the actual cost and the guide price in the next three years;
b) concern was expressed that, using data relating to homes with more than 60 beds, some independent providers could be lost to the system. Ms Holden assured the Committee that there would still be a useful role for smaller homes, focusing specifically on personalised dementia care; and
c) drawing on his recent experience of the work of the Commissioning Select Committee, ... view the full minutes text for item 37