Essex County Council - Provider Hub
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Market Context

Extra care schemes are defined as accommodation that provides access to 24-hour, seven day (24/7) on-site care and support for adults, many of whom may also have care and support needs met by Adult Social Care as part of our duties under the Care Act 2014.

Extra care schemes are for adults who want to live in their own home with access to on site care and support 24/7, if and when they need it. It means living in a safe property, with self-contained apartments in a well-maintained scheme in the heart of the community that is purpose built and tailored to the needs of older adults and adults with disabilities.

Extra care schemes are an important part of a wider accommodation pathway of care, support and housing solutions, enabling independence and positive outcomes for adults. They can prevent and delay a move into less independent settings such as residential care.

Market Rating

The quality of the care in the extra care schemes is good. The market supply is low/moderate. Essex County Councils ambition is to increase the number of extra care schemes; therefore the Market maturity is evolving. The demand for extra care is currently stable/good.

Market Quality Market Supply ECC Demand
Moderate/Good Low/Moderate Stable/High
ECC Ambition Market Workforce Market Maturity
Increase Supply Good Evolving
ECC Ambition = Increase Supply Market Maturity = Evolving

ECC rating of the market, assessed November 2023.

The Council currently has a contract with the on-site care and support provider at each of the 14 extra care schemes across Essex at which placements are made by Adult Social Care. There are 10 different landlords and 6 different on-site care and support providers for the 14 schemes.

The contract with providers includes:

  • The provision of planned personal care for residents who wish to receive their personal care package through the on-site care and support provider; and
  • 24/7 on-site support. This provides a 24/7 in-person response to any unplanned care needs and/or emergencies. This 24/7 on-site support is available to all adults at the scheme and must be in place for a scheme to be designated as extra care, both in Essex and nationally.
Essex ASC Market (ECC Funded)  
Spend £4.22 Million
No. Schemes - Contracted 14
No. Units - Contracted (affordable rented Units) 618
% Care Providers CQC rated Good or Outstanding 86%
No. Adults with ASC personal care package 368
Average Contracted Rate per hour £19.84
Average Length of Stay (Years) 3 Years 5 Months

The information shown in the table(s) above is correct as of November 2023.

The Council has produced information about its approach to Extra Care housing in its “Extra Care housing in Essex, supplement to the MPS”. A link to the document can be found below. The supplement to the MPS seeks to:

  • Provide information to help Extra Care housing providers make informed decisions about where there is demand and need for Extra Care housing in Essex.
  • Provide information to assist local housing and planning authorities in Essex when developing their Housing Strategy, Local Plan and other strategic documents.
  • Provide information for care providers so that they are aware of where new schemes are proposed and opportunities for them to provide services may arise.

You can view the Extra Care Supplement to the MPS by clicking this hyperlink.

The Council has developed its own design guide for the development of new Extra Care schemes. The Design Guide is intended for those commissioning, designing, reviewing, and assessing new Extra Care projects. It sets out the Council’s aspirations for the design and location of Extra Care housing in Essex.

You can view the Extra Care Design Guide by clicking this hyperlink.

It was agreed in 2018 to bring forward 11 new Independent Living Extra Care schemes providing 617 units of specialist accommodation with ECC nomination rights, 712 new apartments in total. One new scheme opened in 2020 and one in 2022.

A review of the Independent Living extra care programme was completed in 2022. The aim of the review was to ensure a successful ambitious extra care programme both in terms of the development of new schemes and making best use of existing schemes. The recommendations from the review have either been implemented or are in the final stages of being implemented.

The current COVID impact highlighted is:

  • There is no specific evidence to show that extra care placements have been impacted like our residential market. There have been a few outbreaks reported in extra care schemes.
  • The number of referrals into schemes had reduced at the height of the pandemic but has now increased again.
  • Extra care apartments can be isolated and therefore are an attractive option for the provision of care and infection control.

Current market risks:

  • There are several risks associated with the development of the pipeline of 9 new schemes. These include; securing planning permission, viability for development and capacity of registered providers to develop. We are also yet to identify suitable sites in Basildon and Castle Point.
  • Increase in the cost of care due to increases in minimum wage and cost of living.
  • Issues with recruitment and retention of carers, although extra care can provide an attractive working environment.

Our current area of focus is:

  • To complete implementation of all the recommendations from the Independent Living Extra Care Programme Review.
  • Progressing the develop of the pipeline of 9 new schemes
  • Continue to maximise ASC referrals into apartments with ECC nomination rights
  • Continue to promote schemes as community assets and maximising social activities within schemes
  • Roll out the use of extra care apartments 'Stepping-Stone Home' for short term placements as an alternative to residential care for adults with care needs who are unable to return/remain at home in the short term.
Last updated: 22/11/2023