The overall aim of this theme has been to ensure that children's trust partnerships in the region commission effectively high quality services that improve outcomes by
- Developing and applying a shared regional understanding of the commissioning process
- Securing cost savings for expensive services for vulnerable groups.
- Developing service suppliers that deliver value for money by shaping the market
The actions within this theme have been developed in partnership with the Commissioning Support Programme.
The actions within this theme include:
Regional Framework for Independent Fostering
From April 2011 a supplier framework of independent providers of foster and residential care has been implemented by eight of the regions local authorities. The framework will secure purchasing transparency, fixed prices for 4 years and cost reductions conservatively estimated at over £10m. The critical success factors within the implementation of a regional framework are being recorded in a manner that can support any additional application in the future.
The local authorities have already implemented a protocol to share purchase prices around external provision in social care. The intention has been to eliminate unreasonable price variation and enable all authorities to negotiate lower prices. All local authorities have also agreed to demand restraint in price increases. The impact of these regional agreements in 2010/11 are regional savings in social care purchasing of almost £1m. During 2011 an online price comparison tool for social care will also be launched to enable purchasers to obtain competitive price information for complex care packages.
Securing Efficiencies Programme
In autumn 2010 the Directors of Children's Services identified a range of service arrangements that can be improved and delivered more efficiently through (sub) regional partnerships. This action plan will be reported here as it develops and delivers.
High Cost Placements
The purchasing of high cost placements, often out of area, for children and young people with learning and/or behaviour difficulties, disabilities or mental health needs is currently being tackled to secure significant cost savings.
A small but not insignificant piece of regional collaboration is being developed to share some of the savings and efficiencies being created in the 'back office' by smarter commissioning and procurement arrangements.