Essex County Council - Provider Hub
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Our Approach to the Market

Over the last 3 to 5 years, Essex County Council have been strategically working to improve stability, and relationships with our Essex Market Providers. As result this has allowed us to:

  • Stabilise our markets by increasing the capacity of our service provision in the Essex market by encouraging Essex providers to join our framework(s).
  • Drive up the quality of services purchased to good or outstanding providers.
  • Effectively manage price through the use of framework(s) by providers selecting rates on matrixes that allows Essex to manage value for money.
  • Utilise the frameworks to shape service delivery outcomes through the use of our contracts. This includes process efficiencies, Care Act Regulations like choice and control, 3rd Party Top Ups and joint health and social care pricing matrixes for Residential Care. This includes increases in independence, prevention, early intervention and recovery.
  • Improve relationships with providers across our market proactive engagement and collaborative development of future procurements or sourcing activities.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of our existing future workforce and work strategically to encourage our carer workforce to evolve to meet capacity.
  • Improve the use of data and insight to inform our market on adult trends, on gaps in the market or our planned commissioning intention and innovation to trial and change ways of working through the use of our market.

Agreed high level market shaping principles shaped by the Care Act to help us work better with adults and carers. 

  • Outcomes Focused; ensuring the adult outcome is at the forefront of our service design and delivery.
  • Promote Independence; to keep people well at home in their community and families.
  • Collaborate; to work with all system partners, organisations and suppliers to ensure our services are shaped and mobilised effectively.
  • Safe; to ensure people are safe and to promote good and outstanding care to our adults. 
  • Engage; to continue to work with all stakeholders, keep people involved in current and the future delivery of services. 
  • Innovate; to trial new concepts and ideas, ensuring that we evolve services to meet the needs of our adults through the use of new commercial models and technology. 

Essex County Council has mobilised a number of initiatives over the last 2 years to support the pandemic. High level activities includes:

  • The mobilisation of the use of the Essex Care Search system to allow the NHS and Social Care Practitioners to discharge adults into residential settings from hospital during the first wave.
  • The implementation of Provider of Last Resort (POLR) to prop up our market where workforce or provision issues results in adults at risk of not receiving a service.
  • The implementation of Care Market Hubs across each quadrant to support daily deliverables across the system (NHS and Social care) whilst supporting providers within the area to remain resilient through the Care Provider Information Hub.
  • The implementation of the 12-month underwritten beds contract to financially support residential providers from the 18th March 2020 until the 31st March 2021.
  • The mobilisation of designated bed settings during the first wave to support adults with COVID being discharged from hospital. This includes the setup of Howe Green ran by ECL, and during the second wave three residential homes who were able to take COVID + Adults.

Collaboration has been vital and key to our delivery during the last 2 years. We have worked with our huge network of organisations and suppliers to ensure information, practice and most importantly a shared approach to delivery aids our business needs. This has involved

  • Fast tracking the utilisation of data and insight, and the use of technology as part of the health and social care service offer.
  • Progressed activities with the NHS which has pushed forward our agenda for joint collaborative working, decision making and future market shaping.
  • Collaborative working with the Essex Care Association to ensure insight is shared with our market and where possible maintain market resilience with our strategic providers.
  • Continued partnership working with the ADASS Regional group on workforce, social care markets, innovation in joint working on agreed tasks and technology.

Throughout the Pandemic, Essex County Council have still continued to deliver on existing contracts or services, this includes:

  • The implementation of the new reablement contract with ECL to support intermediate care activities within Essex.
  • The implementation of the Tech Enabled Care contract as well as other digital projects such as Tribe and Electronic Homecare Monitoring.
  • The roll out of new contract terms and conditions for AWD residential services to bring them under a new specification, with new performance measures, and reduced numbers of people waiting to move into Supported Living, overall reduced capacity.
  • An IRN refresh which will have 161 homes on the framework from August 2021. The Supported Living framework has been procured and mobilised for AWD with a value of £345m over 4 years; 80 providers have been brought on to the framework covering 85% of our market within Essex.
  • The implementation of the LAH refresh to support the rate uplifts of the existing LAH framework during the COVID period whilst recommissioning the new Live at Home Framework to support the strategic direction of the Domiciliary Care Service.
Last updated: 27/05/2022