Working with Care Providers to Understand Costs

Working with Care Providers to Understand Costs


The Care Act (2014) introduced new duties for local authorities in England to facilitate and shape a diverse, sustainable market for quality care and support in their local area. This practical guide is intended for adult social care commissioners who wish to develop their understanding of the costs involved in providing care to help them meet these duties.








The aim is to enable and equip commissioners with the knowledge and skills to support informed dialogue with providers in the interest of working toward agreed fee rates that are affordable, good value for money and support market sustainability.

CIPFA was commissioned by the Department of Health (DH), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) to co-ordinate production of this guide in agreement and consultation with the Care Provider Alliance (CPA), as part of a joint programme to support implementation of the Care Act.

Commissioners are increasingly skilled at striking the delicate balance between making the most of limited resources and meeting the statutory requirements to shape sustainable care markets for their local populations. This growing wealth of experience provided the foundations for this guide, which was produced with extensive input from local authority commissioners, and also social care providers through a series of workshops and through consultations with individuals – all aimed at identifying and bringing together good practice. 

This process uncovered a variety of examples of collaborative and innovative approaches to costing, and identified means of generating efficiency savings in commissioning care. These findings inform every section of the report.