Technology and collaboration should be at heart of social care green paper
March 15, 2017
The Chancellor announced a bold plan to spend £2billion on social care over the next three years in the 2017 Spring Budget, as part of his ‘social care funding package’.
Any option that saves on labour, time and operational costs goes a long way towards alleviating the pressures of a sector under strain. We believe that a collaboration between local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to streamline administrative processes will further help to maximise budgets and improve service delivery for end users.
At a time of reduced expenditure, automating auditing via electronic payments, not only helps to reduce processing costs within Council and Clinical Commissioning Groups, but can ensure funds allocated are spent in-line with care plans.
More than a quarter of local authorities are now disbursing adult social care funds using prepaid cards, with an estimated £500 million expected to be loaded onto cards this year alone. An average sized council using prepaid cards is reporting savings of 5% to 10% on their direct payments budget, meaning the return on investment is very high. Service users also benefit as these payments are made instantly, with no need to open a bank account or submit bank statements to the council or send in expenditure receipts. We are seeing more councils working together with their CCGs to better manage and co-ordinate social care and health budgets. We await with anticipation the promised Green paper, due later this year too.