Stop treating people as commodities, says Care England
Provider representative body Care England has voiced its ongoing concern about Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) used by some local authorities to award social care contracts.
The process, also known as a ‘reverse auction’, requires providers to bid, within a short timeframe, to care for people whose care needs are put online. Care England believes this is being done with the deliberate aim of driving down the price of care, and so risking the quality of social care services.
“People must not be treated akin to commodities,” said Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green.
“Choice should be paramount whilst cost should not be the sole factor when allocating care.” Staffordshire is one of the growing number of local authorities to have used DPS for new clients and has only offered a 1% uplift in 2018/19 for existing residential and nursing home placements despite publically recognising that costs have risen by 5%.
“Many providers are already at financial risk due to low prices being paid by purchasing bodies,” said Prof. Green.
“We recommend that guidance to local authorities should be amended to outlaw the use of online reverse e-auctions.”