Call for outcome-based payment system

A report published by Skills for Care claims that social care is worth more than £50 billion to the English economy and argues the best way to make adult social care sustainable in the long-term is to move away from payment for adult social care processes to payment based on better outcomes for people who draw on care and support services.

Neil Russell, chairman of specialist care provider PJ Care, agrees that adult social care should more to an outcomes-based model.

“A joined-up service that focuses on the outcomes for people is more cost-effective because it prevents placement breakdowns, and, more importantly, makes for improved health, wellbeing and quality of life for the person.”

“We see repeatedly residents who have their health funding cut and moved out of our care to a ‘cheaper’ placement. This may appear to save money, but it doesn’t meet their needs and actually costs more because of the expensive medication that’s needed and staff don’t have the specialist skills to care for them. Their health outcomes are reduced and, sometimes, they return to us by which time their needs are greater, and the cost of the placement has increased.

“This shows the false economy of basing care decisions on processes and cost rather than where a person can achieve the best health outcomes.

“Failure to address these issues now will see homes closing across the sector as they become dangerously short-staffed and unable to recruit, the knock-on effects of this will see potentially irreversible damage to the NHS and society as a whole and we will not be able to look after the most vulnerable.”

Date published: October 20, 2021