Care charity calls for ‘sector deal’ to end ‘perverse’ commissioning system

Hft has warned that the learning disability sector’s “perverse” commissioning system is in need of an overhaul.

A report published today, Improving outcomes, enhancing care, calls on the government to grant a “sector deal” to learning disability providers.

It says that currently the learning disability sector is “over-risked and under-rewarded” as it operates under a “low fee per-hour model of commissioning” that “keeps productivity low”.

In a foreword to the report, Robert Longley-Cook, chief executive of Hft, says: “Many local authorities, themselves seeking to reduce the amount they spend on individual care packages in response to growing demands on their budgets, have created a perverse system whereby providers who are able to drive down the cost of support while still maintaining high standards, are often penalised for their efforts by seeing the savings go to the local authority while their margins are reduced, adding to their financial instability.”

Longley-Cook says there is a “better way of working” that involves representatives of the sector signing a sector deal with the government and increased investment in new assistive technologies.

The government already has sector deals with industries including aerospace, life sciences and off-shore wind and has said it wants to open these up to other parts of the economy.

These deals include a set of targets that the government wants to meet by directed funding in a specific area.

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