Essex County Council - Provider Hub
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Market Context

Supported Living schemes are for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism, and physical and/or sensory impairments. The service provides adults with the chance to hold a tenancy in their own home and focuses on increasing each individual’s independence and skills over a period of time, thereby reducing the need for paid and unpaid carer support.

The schemes can be either a group of single occupancy units clustered together (normally no more than 14) or a scheme for tenants who live in a shared house or bungalow (normally 2 - 4 residents). Within these schemes there is usually shared or 'core' support provided. All properties are tenancy based, with the landlord being separate from the support provider.

This service is commissioned via the Supported Living Framework which was procured in March 2021. At the time of writing there are 117 providers who have secured a place on the framework and future re-openings expect to increase this number.

The focus of the market at present is to continue to grow to meet demand within Essex. As with residential services there are needs at the complex end of the spectrum too, and specialist services are sought for adults with challenging behaviour. There are a lack of services in some parts of the county which leads to adults being moved further away from families and communities which we are seeking to address in future development.

Market Rating

The quality of the market is good, and the Supported Living Framework imposes requirements that we can only place with those rated Good or Outstanding by the CQC. Supply is strong and we have in excess of 590 schemes at which we can place through the framework, but there remains demand for further developments. Demand is high and crosses the whole spectrum of needs right up to very complex adults; the demand is relatively consistent but development needs to be spread out in Essex to cover other areas and to avoid an ongoing proliferation of services in the North East of the county. Workforce remains a challenge for all providers.

Market Quality Market Supply ECC Demand
Good Moderate/Good Stable
ECC Ambition Market Workforce Market Maturity
Manage Supply Low Mature

ECC rating of the market, assessed on 31 March 2023

There is capacity in the market with a number of vacancies, however not all of these vacancies will be suitable for adults seeking accommodation and matching and compatibility will always be a big driver for demand management.

There are shortages of some categories of support, especially for complex provision and for those who require their own individual living space. There are several providers who are currently looking to expand and develop new services, and property developers are showing interest in setting up schemes within Essex. Processes for ensuring quality of housing stock and care provision are now implemented and embedded.

The Supported Living Framework has 80 providers and a further 58 have bid in the current reopening. This will result in an increased number of supported living providers and more housing options for adults. None have exited the market in recent years.

Essex Market
No. of Schemes N/A
No. of Units N/A
No. of Landlords N/A
No. of Care Providers N/A
Quality of Care Providers (rated as Good or Outstanding by the CQC) N/A
New Entrants N/A
Market Exits N/A

There is no data available that gives us oversight of the whole market in Essex

Essex ASC Market (ECC Funded)
Spend £97 Million
No. Schemes – Framework 636
No. Schemes – Spot 17
No. Units – Framework 1,842
No. Units – Spot 58
No Landlords 128
No. Care Providers 93
No. Adults supported 1,350
Utilisation % 88%
Average Contracted Rate per hour £16.62
Average Spot Rate per hour £16.22
% ECC funded placements CQC rated Good or Outstanding 63%

The information shown in the table(s) above is correct as of 31 March 2023

We require more provision for growing numbers of complex individuals needing supported living, especially young people coming through transitions. We also need to improve the rate at which individuals are enabled to independence and into general needs housing with or without support.

We need to improve our offer for older people with learning disabilities (55+), who make up an increasing percentage of the individuals supported and are the majority of the caseload of some of our largest providers.

Providers are currently showing willing to develop the right sorts of schemes in partnership with ECC, and we have seen an increase in the number of plans and proposals being put forward.

The current COVID impact highlighted is:

  • Providers had to increase hours of support where individuals could not access day opportunities, placing pressure on the workforce.
  • Development of new schemes halted due to financial uncertainty and restrictions due to lockdown, and there has been a delay in the development pipeline returning to normal levels.
  • Providers learned lots of new skills and techniques which should carry over to normality post Covid, such as increased use of tech and better use of support hours in the home environment.

Current market risks:

  • Development of schemes tends to be focussed in areas where land and property is cheaper, leading to potential disconnect between local need and availability.
  • Staffing post COVID remains a concern; providers are worried that they will lose staff as other areas of the economy open up.

Our current area of focus is:

  • Continue to stabilise the market through the introduction and embedding of the supported living framework
  • Steer and focus development of new schemes according to need across the county to enable appropriate growth of provision
  • Value and Efficiency: maintain the link between costs and prices, ensuring that rates and uplifts are based on cost of delivery
  • Choice and Control: maintain sufficient variety within the market that individuals have sufficient choice of provision
  • Drive progression and achievement of outcomes: ensure providers are delivering outcomes identified for individuals
  • Continue to drive improvement in quality of housing and support
  • Continue to develop provision for people with complex needs, especially individual self-contained units
Last updated: 14/10/2022