Delayed discharge oversight holds promise
Although post-Budget celebrations have been understandably muted, social care providers might derive some consolation from the Chancellor’s sub-text. The improvement measures planned for councils that struggle to reduce delayed transfers of care (DTOC) could offer wider-ranging potential.
Given the impracticability of isolating issues around DTOC from general commissioning practice, the likely ripple effects of external intervention could constitute the thick end of a regulatory wedge – especially if implemented by CQC. Providers have long been frustrated by local authorities’ in-house replacement for independent oversight of commissioning: LGA’s buddy scheme in which performance is assessed at mates’ rates. Now Whitehall also seems to have become exasperated.
At the request of the Department of Health, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has directed councils towards the straight and narrow with an idiot’s guide to providers’ costs*. This, remember, after the best part of a quarter of a century, when the basics should already have been embedded in their muscle memory.
If the “improvement” ball does fall into CQC’s court it, too, will need to do its homework on CIPFA’s primer. Not just to meet standards it might expect of authorities, but to help it undertake a new duty to promote economic growth, based on a thorough understanding of the business environment of providers – from sector to individual operator**.
If the expectation that providers will hold CQC to account on this has escaped their attention, minds might be concentrated by the knowledge that they could be saddled with the attendant costs. * www.cipfa.org/policy-and-guidance/reports/working-with-care-providers-to-understand-costs ** https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/business-impact-target-growth-duty-and-small-business-appeals-champion.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.