Kingston Council working with care partners to improve quality and save £500k per year

Kingston Council is working with its adult social care partners to reshape and improve the delivery of Adult Social Care services for Kingston residents, saving around £500k per year.

As part of an ambitious council-wide transformation programme, Kingston Council is working with its adult social care partners to reshape and improve the delivery of Adult Social Care services for Kingston residents, making significant changes to how it buys services, delivering better quality services and better outcomes for those who need support. 

We heard from residents who use care services on what was good and what could be improved across current services. We held focus groups with residents and their carers; we had telephone conversations, held provider forums and sent out surveys. The main themes were about consistency of care (cost and quality), communication and a need for greater understanding of individuals’ needs. We have been engaging with people who use these services, their families and providers to redesign them and make sure they meet their specific needs. 

We are therefore keen to achieve better value for money for our residents and ensure their care is tailored to support their individual needs. In particular, we want our residents to be able to choose which provider supports them, with providers able to support all people from those with minimal needs to maintain their independence to those with more complex needs, dementia or autism. 

We will first address Care at Home (domiciliary) and Supported Living/ Outreach service provision. The Council is inviting providers to apply to join a “flexible framework'' (or a list of approved providers), investing a total of £13.8m per year to address the needs of some of our most vulnerable customers. We expect this will generate savings of around £500k per year across both Supported Living and Homecare. 

Commenting on the proposals, Cllr Fiona Boult, portfolio holder for ASC said:

“Our new flexible framework will provide greater choice and flexibility in the types of care available, which is vital for our residents, but will also deliver real value and save around £500,000 per year.

This is a great example of the innovative approach Kingston Council is taking to improve how it delivers its most essential services and ensure it offers value for money to local residents.

The council is facing significant budget challenges, which have increased further as a result of the additional support it has offered to vulnerable residents throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. This makes our work to transform the way we deliver services - while ensuring we’re able to support those who need it most - even more important.”

Further savings will be achieved by moving people into more appropriate placement, providing supported care to help residents live more independently wherever it’s possible, rather than moving into care homes. By supporting more people to remain at home - where they want to be - with support, rather than going into care homes, we also aim to reduce the number of people who need to be moved out of Borough so they remain closer to  family and friends. 

  • Overall, some of the key changes we’re implementing as part of this project are:
  • Making sure all providers work to the same high standard
  • Making it easier for people to get the right support 
  • Consistent and fair pricing to deliver better value for money
  • More use of assistive technology, like Alexa for example, to enable customers to live independently in their own homes for as long as is possible 
  • Ensuring Kingston Council works with a range of providers in order to give people choice, flexibility and consistent support options.  
  • The Council's Response & Recovery Committee approved these proposals on 24 September 2020.

The Council is now advertising the ITT for the Care at Home Flexible Framework and the Supported Living & Outreach Flexible Framework which may be of interest to providers interested in delivering any of these services.