Driving up the quality of adult social care in Birmingham

Councillor Paulette Hamilton, cabinet member for health and social care, talks about how we must work together as we seek to drive up the quality of adult social care in Birmingham…

We want people to live better lives so we need to help them, their families and communities have greater choice and control about the care they receive, whilst also ensuring we always protect our most vulnerable citizens.

Along with our health partners we are looking at how we can transform the adult careand health  sector. To do this we need a system that involves everyone – friends, family, carers and community networks – supported by services commissioned by the council and NHS. So today we are publishing our vision for adult social care – our contract strategy 2018+ (Item 10 on this Cabinet agenda).

It is a huge challenge and I am very clear that we need to take citizens, providers and professionals with us on our transformation journey. So as a council we are working with providers to see how together we can drive up quality and improve the lives of the most vulnerable citizens.

As part of this drive we will not allow a provider who is currently rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as Inadequate to enter the framework of recognised providers. All providers will have to meet an agreed standard set up by either the CQC, NHS or the city council’s proposed ratings system.

And with the emphasis on quality, our new ratings system, to sit alongside CQC and NHS ratings, is aimed at incentivising good provision and delivering better outcomes for our citizens.

This will see social care providers – whether home, residential or nursing – rated as gold, silver or bronze. Those rated gold will get a 2% price premium for new packages, silver will get a standard fee and bronze providers will receive a 3% reduction in their fees if the required improvements are not made. We will not contract with bronze-rated providers where there is better provision but we will work with them to drive up standards and quality.

We will publish our ratings online, alongside CQC and NHS ratings, so citizens can make an informed choice about care provision.

By 2021 we should have a health and social care system that has more independent providers achieving the highest standards of care, working within their local communities to promote health and wellbeing, with a reduced need for commissioned services.

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