In 2018 CCPS identified a trend in our annual Business Resilience Survey towards providers handing back contracts. As a result, we commissioned research into the experience of and issues associated with processes of handing back social care contracts by voluntary sector providers, to gain a more in depth understanding of the situation.
The report ‘Handing Back Contracts: Exploring the rising trend in third sector provider withdrawal from the social care market‘ comes at a time of increasing concern regarding the sustainability of organisations (both voluntary and private) that have been involved in contracting public services from government in the social care sector.
The report’s findings cover a number of rationales for service withdrawl such as financial viability, hourly rates, geographical spread, and impact on service quality and the mission of the provider.
It also looks at providers’ experience of the dynamics and processes involved in withdrawing; along with the overall impacts of contract withdrawl on providers, staff, service users and the provision of services as a whole.
The key recommendations of the report are:
- More realistic funding that accounts for the actual cost of care
- Ending the use of framework agreements that include inadequate hourly rates
- Jointly agreed minimum contracting standards at a national, regional or local authority level covering such matters as hourly rates, volumes of work and minimum employment standards
- Include in any future review of the Scottish Government’s 10 year SDS strategy an element of joined up thinking that accounts for Fair Work practices