Cost of care and market sustainability

As part of the government’s adult social care reform agenda, we need to complete a cost of care exercise. The aim of this is to reach a shared understanding with providers of the local cost of providing care. We also need to publish a market sustainability plan about how we plan to move towards a fair cost of care (where this is not already being paid) over the next three years.

To take part in this exercise, we needed to identify the costs in the local area for the following care categories:

  • 65+ care homes
  • standard residential care
  • residential care for enhanced needs
  • standard nursing care
  • nursing care for enhanced needs
  • 18+ domiciliary care

This exercise, and the funds being made available to local authorities, are designed to support:

  • preparation by local authorities of their markets for reform, including the further commencement of Section 18(3) of the Care Act 2014 in October 2023
  • local authorities moving towards paying providers a fair cost of care

For the purposes of the exercise, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consider ‘fair’ to mean the median actual operating costs for providing care in the local area (following completion of the exercise). ‘Fair’ also means what is sustainable for the local market. This is, on average, what local authorities are required to move towards paying providers. The government recognise the complexity of local care markets, and the risk of oversimplification, but that it is necessary to find a way of standardising cost reporting. The median is designed to reflect that there are a range of local costs. 

Funding for 2022 to 2023 has been given out using the adult social care relative needs formula. This is the formula used for the Social Care Grant and Improved Better Care Fund.

Timetable of key activity

On Friday 14 October 2022 we had to submit the following to the Department of Health and Social Care:

  • cost of care exercises for 65+ care homes and 18+ domiciliary care
  • a provisional market sustainability plan
  • a spend report detailing how funding allocated for 2022 to 2023 is being spent in line with the fund’s purpose

On Wednesday 1 February 2023 we are required to publish the cost of care exercises for 65+ care homes and 18+ domiciliary care.

On Monday 27 March 2023 we have to publish our final market sustainability plan. This plan will outline how we, over a period of time and depending on government funding being available, will move towards a fair cost of care for providers delivering services to people aged 65 and over and for domiciliary care.

If you fund your own care

If you fund your own care, the rates you agree are with the care provider. If you are unable to arrange your own care, we have a Care Navigation service that can help you to arrange your care and support. Contact Care Connect on 01275 888 801 Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.

There will be no change if you are funded or part funded by us.

If you are eligible for funding support

If you are eligible for funding support, we could pay some or most of the fees - this will not change. We will carry out a care needs assessment. If this shows you need care in a care home, we will carry out a means test to work out whether you qualify for help with the cost. This will look at your income and capital.

Cap on care costs

The government has announced a delay in introducing a cap on care costs and this has been postponed until at least 2025.