Regulated Care Sector
Regulated care includes support and care at home, residential care and care homes with nursing.
Regulated means the care providers are inspected and rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Across Lancashire and South Cumbria there are over 800 providers of regulated care, employing 46,000 staff, more than the number of staff employed in the NHS in the region. The regulated care sector is part of the wider health and social care system across the region and works in partnership with the NHS, local authority and voluntary, community and faith sector organisations to provide the very best care for local people.
The regulated care sector is facing significant challenges due to reduced funding, an increase in the number of people with social-care needs and a shortage of staff. The way services are currently funded and delivered is different in different areas of Lancashire and South Cumbria, by working together we will be able to provide a more equal approach to planning and delivering services and improve the quality of care people receive.
Please explore this area of the website to find out more about the care sector.
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Development of a single service specification for older people’s care homes for Lancashire and South Cumbria
In the past concerns have been raised regarding how local authority and health commissioners describe care requirements which can lead to duplication and confusion. With this in mind, colleagues from NHS and local authorities have been reviewing the many different service specifications to develop a single document for older peoples care homes.
Aims of single service specification
The aim is to rationalise requirements for care home providers to support the delivery of quality services which we are all working in partnership to deliver for the service users in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
The intention is that it is not a change to the requirements of each organisation, rather it is an amalgamation of different specifications to a clear single set of requirements to be commissioned irrespective of whether this sits within a Local Authority or NHS contract.
The service specification has been developed to simplify commissioning across health and social care. This is done with the aim of reducing the time care homes need to spend on administrative tasks and consolidating reporting requirements, in the same way as the introduction of the single bed state tool, the Capacity tracker and the single Contract and Quality Management system, sproc.net.
It is important to note that the service specification is not a contract, this service specification will sit alongside your contract which will remain the same and continue with your commissioner.
The service specification aims to clearly define the standards of care expected from an organisation with the same delivery required across the whole of Lancashire and South Cumbria.
Your contract will continue to set out the local terms and conditions expected from each Local Authority or NHS organisation.
The service specification will be implemented across Lancashire and South Cumbria in a phased approach in line with contract renewal.
The process so far
As we have been publicising in Regulated Care monthly key messages this work has been ongoing since 2017.
All the original service specifications from the various organisations across Lancashire and South Cumbria were reviewed and a working group has come together to achieve a consensus view and a single amalgamation of requirements.
We have shared an early version of the service specification with colleagues from CQC to ensure that the expectations of the service specification are within the requirements of regulatory ‘good’ care.
Early iterations of the draft have been shared with some providers via the Regulated Care Finance & Contracts group, and the Health and Social Care Partnership, with the latter agreeing to act as a critical friend.
What we would like to do next
We are now at a point where we have a draft of the service specification which we would like to share with care home colleagues for comments.
In order to aid this process, the link below will lead to the service specification and a survey for you to complete with your comments about the specification:
Please could all comments be returned by 30th August 2019.
We will be liaising with local provider forum leads to identify representatives from across Lancashire to attend a workshop to review comments from this survey in September, please let your forum lead know if you would like to be included in the event.
Responses will be collated, and we will host an event on 23rd Sept to collectively review the key themes that emerge and generate any further clarifications to the service specification where appropriate.
The aim is to have a final version of the service specification available by the end of October 2019 to take though governance processes within Local Authorities and CCGs.
The specification will be implemented as contracts become ready for renewal from April 2020 onwards.