OPINION: Social care entrepreneur calls for commissioning reform

Ravi Bains

Social care entrepreneur and Contollo Care Group founder, Ravi Bains, has outlined his vision to improve the social care system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ravi called for a new commissioning framework of national minimum standards that allows for regional variation and highlighted the need to address local pressures while meeting robust quality standards.

“When it comes to social care commissioning, a one-size-fits-all approach simply will not work,” Ravi said.

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“An adequately funded, uniform approach to commissioning must be put in place to avoid a dangerous race to the bottom.

“A social care commissioning framework of national minimum standards that is led by experts who live and breathe social care will be transformative to our society. We need to start asking big questions of what we want health and social care to look like for our loved ones now and in the future.

“The time is now for a multi-agency, multi-faceted national approach to commissioning where quality comes first.”

The entrepreneur called for contracts to be awarded on the basis of the quality of care provided, with careful consideration paid to the concept of best value beyond price. Under a new commissioning system, social care contracts would not be awarded on lowest cost, but on the provider’s ability to sustainably provide excellent care, with the potential of linking contracts to quality indicators such as CQC ratings and customer feedback.

By establishing a national minimum standard and national accountability, Ravi said government can work with local authorities to address systemic problems while developing the provision of services available in the region. He pointed to the Scottish model of homecare as an example of best practice, with multiple agencies working together with providers to deliver high quality care.

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The author Lee Peart

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