Contracting and procurement
We are working to identify the changes in the HCC Commissioning and Contracting structure, processes and roles that will be required to support the future market. Personalisation will mean that the way we commission, contract and procure services from providers is likely to change as we support individual purchasing decisions.
‘Putting People First’ sets out the vision and commitment for the transformation of social care as part of the Governments Personalisation agenda. Part of this vision is the extension of choice and control through Self-directed support and personal budgets. This will only be achieved through the Council and providers working together
Making personal budgets work will mean enabling individuals to make informed decisions about the type of services they wish to receive to meet their assessed eligible needs and outcomes and ensuring there are quality, personalised services available for people to choose from. It will also mean the development of a range of options to support individuals with managing their personal budgets from the use of direct payments, the development of Individual Service Funds and Hampshire County Council supported procurement through framework contracts. This will require a change in the Councils contracting approach and practices and a shift to collaborative commissioning and service development.
For further information on current Hampshire County Council procurement practice and tender opportunities visit our Business Opportunities and Procurement Information site.
Direct Payments is money paid by a Local Authority (in lieu of commissioned services) to a person to purchase social care services they are eligible to receive from Adult Services. They enable people to have greater choice, control and flexibility as to how their eligible support needs are met.
Direct Payments regulations are laid out in the Health and Social Care Act 2001 and the in the Health and Social Care Act 2008. The Department of Health have published Direct Payments Guidance on how a local authority should provide Direct Payments.
Download a copy of the document Department of Health Direct Payments Guidance 2009
Direct Payments can be used for one-off and on-going support needs, although there are some restrictions in terms of national charging and other policies that mean that not all support services can be purchased through Direct Payments.
Although Direct Payments may be used to employ people to provide support services (Support workers or Personal Assistants) there are certain restrictions on using Direct Payments to pay for support from partners, close family members and other people living in the same house
Direct Payments can be used in conjunction with commissioned services and can therefore form part of a person’s care package; e.g. a person may receive Direct Payments to purchase respite and receive a commissioned care package for personal care.
Individual Service Funds
An Individual Service Fund (ISF) could be one form of funding an Individual or Personal Budget that has been put forward, where:
The money is held by the provider on the individual’s behalf
The person decides how to spend the money
The provider is accountable to the person
The provider commits to only spend the money on the individual’s service and the management and support necessary to provide that service (not into a general pooled budget).
In affect it is where the Individual and Adult Services contractually agree that a service provider can hold, manage and be accountable for the individuals Personal or Individual Budget, on the understanding that it will only be spent on providing or arranging the support chosen by the individual to meet their assessed needs as agreed in their support plan.
In-Control are urging providers to “Build Individual Service Funds (ISF’s) into current systems” (In-Control, 2008), however ISF’s do not appear to be in widespread use yet. On the provider side Inclusion Glasgow, their sister organisations Partners for Inclusion and C-change for Inclusion have been pioneering ISF’s for nearly a decade however it is not clear what other organisations have done. For Local Authorities, Wigan and Barnsley Metropolitan Authorities, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Lancashire County Council, amongst a few others, appear to be developing their use.
The Local Authority may provide an ISF to a service provider, through a contractual agreement, to provide care and support to meet the assessed outcomes of an eligible individual based on the value of the individuals agreed personal budget and in line with their agreed support plan. This could be provided either directly by that provider or the provider could sub contract service provision out. The Service Provider will be accountable to the individual, and ultimately the Local Authority, for how the money is used
It is likely that the ISF will be classed as ‘restricted funding’ which means that the provider cannot use the funding to provide services to other people, although any management or other charges may be set out and agreed at the beginning. The provider will therefore need systems and processes to be able to manage and account for their funding in a very personalised way with recording, and an audit trail, of the receipt and expenditure of each individuals ISF funding having to be maintained.
A Framework Agreement is a general term for agreements with providers who have gone through a full tendering process. It sets out the terms and conditions under which specific purchases can be made but places no contractual obligation on the County Council. A presentation by Adult Services on Framework contracts 236kb
There are two main types of framework contract
Call Offs – where the terms of the framework have provider services with clearly identified costs, where ‘call offs’ can be made without the need to reopen competition
and Mini Competition – where the terms of the framework do not have provider services with costs attached. Providers subject to mini-competition need to demonstrate how they would meet individuals outcomes.
It is anticipated that Framework contracts will ensure quality and supply and the provision of services in a more flexible and personalised way.
Those self directing their own support are able to access the frameworks.
Hampshire County Council Adult Services are keen to develop a range of ways for individuals to be able to use their Personal Budgets. One development is Hantscard, a 'payment' type plastic card that will be front loaded with an individuals Personal Budget. Hantscard is currently being piloted in Basingstoke, Fareham & Gosport.
Background to Hantscard and the pilot project was presented at a Community Action Hampshire Personalisation event in April 2010. Access the Community Action Hampshire Personalisation events webpage
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