Commissioning, Contracting and Brokerage Procedures

1. Using this Procedure

This procedure should be used:

  1. By frontline practitioners working in social work teams when;
  2. Any Care and Support Plan/Support Plan/Urgent support has been signed off; to
  3. Understand and use the range of local processes for arranging the required services and support; and
  4. Work effectively alongside the Adult Commissioning Team.

Although this procedure may be helpful to those people based within the Adult Commissioning Team, it does not provide specific guidance about arranging, monitoring or reviewing contracts, or any other associated actions that may be required. Anyone carrying out such actions should refer to available local processes.

2. Self Funders

The Local Authority has a duty to arrange and manage services to meet the eligible needs of any self-funder at their request unless those needs are to be met in a residential or nursing home.

In the case of residential and nursing home services the Local Authority can decide whether to arrange or manage the services unless:

  • The person with eligible needs lacks capacity; and
  • There is no other appropriate person to arrange and manage the placement on their behalf; in which case
  • The Local Authority must arrange and manage the placement.

3. Domiciliary Care

All domiciliary care services must be arranged through brokerage@swindon.gov.uk or Eclipse without exception.

If a person has specific or complex needs you must provide relevant information to Brokerage to assist them in identifying an appropriately skilled provider.

Brokers will ensure a referral is made to the Lead Provider for Domiciliary Care and will update social care colleagues accordingly. Social Care will be notified if there are any issues outside the agreed performance standards.

4. OPPD Residential and Nursing Care Placements

Residential and nursing care placements are commissioned on a spot contract basis moving to a framework contract in 2019/20.

All residential and nursing care placements must be arranged through Placements@swindon.gov.uk without exception with funding agreed.

If a person has specific or complex needs you must provide relevant information to Brokerage to assist them in identifying an appropriately skilled provider.

5. Out of Borough Placements

Out of borough placements will be made by exception and will be agreed on a specific needs of the individual concerned.

All out of borough residential and nursing care placements must be arranged through Placements@swindon.gov.uk without exception with funding agreed.

If a person has specific or complex needs you must provide relevant information to Brokerage to assist them in identifying an appropriately skilled provider.

All residential and nursing care placement sourced Out of Borough the Brokerage Team would need to check the following before placement is made:

  • The Out of Borough Nursing or Residential provider accept their hosting Local Authority funding rates;
  • Check with the Local Authority regarding any concerns they have with the home;
  • Check CQC to confirm the home rating.

6. Learning Disability Residential and Nursing Placements

All learning disability residential and nursing care placements must be arranged through the Brokerage team without exception. 

Learning Disability Residential and Nursing placements are commissioned on a spot contract basis. All learning disability placements must be arranged through LDCommissioning@swindon.gov.uk without exception with funding agreed.

If a person has specific or complex needs you must provide relevant information to Brokerage to assist them in identifying an appropriately skilled provider.

7. OPPD Respite

Swindon Borough Council commission Respite either in our allocated respite beds or on a spot contract basis.

When spot purchasing a bed Brokers will endeavor to purchase with the persons budget.

All respite should be arranged through the Brokerage team without exception and with funding agreed.

If a person has specific or complex needs you must provide relevant information to Brokerage to assist them in identifying an appropriately skilled provider.

Note: Before arranging respite make sure that the person has not exceeded the amount of respite set out in their Care and Support Plan.

8. Learning Disability Respite

Swindon Borough Council provides an in house learning disability respite provision known as ‘Firethorn – Short Breaks Family Service’.

This is a 14 bed service with 2 additional self-contained bungalows fully adapted for those with complex needs.

All Learning Disability respite requests need to have agreed funding with exception and will then be set up by the Brokerage team.

9. Supported Living

Swindon Borough Council has a framework of providers for all supported living placements.

All supported living placements should be arranged through Brokerage without exception using the email contact LDCommissioning@swindon.gov.uk.

If a person has specific or complex needs you must provide relevant information to Brokerage to assist them in identifying an appropriately skilled provider.

If a framework provider is unable to deliver a service Brokers will work with the Commissioner to agree next steps.

10. Supported Housing

Supported Housing and Floating Support services are commissioned for people with a range of support needs.

The Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service (SDASS) is commissioned from Swindon Women’s Aid who can be contacted on 01793 610610.  The service is available to both men and women and provide a Refuge for victims and their children as well as support in the community.

Booker House and Bow Court provide accommodation and support for people with Learning Disabilities and Autism. Access is through Swindon Homebid. These provide independent housing with low-level support.

Supported Housing for people with Mental Health issues is accessible through the Mental Health Panel or for those supported by AWP. There is a Common Referral Form used for these services.

The referral route for Supported Housing for Young People is through the Housing Options Team. There is a standard Referral Form to be sent to ypsa@swindon.gov.uk.

Supported Housing for Homeless Adults can be accessed via the Housing Options Team (for Culvery Court and Booth House). Priority will be given to those with a statutory duty. More information is available by emailing hoptions@swindon.gov.uk.

Floating Support for Young People can be applied for by completing a Referral Form and sending to ypsa@swindon.gov.uk.

Floating Support for Adults can be applied for by completing an Application Form and sending to Resettlement and Floating Support Team, Housing Department, Swindon Borough Council, Beckhampton Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH.

Referral forms: Referral forms for the above services can be found in the local resources area by clicking here.

11. Commissioned Voluntary Services

Swindon Borough Council commission a range of voluntary and community services, which can be accessed by clicking here.

12. Shared Lives

Swindon Borough Council provides an in house learning disability shared lives provision.

All referrals for Shared Lives need to be sent to sharedlives@swindon.gov.uk once agreed funding has been obtained from exceptions panel.

Brokers will set the provision up but all further detail will be managed through the Shared Lives Team.

13. OPPD Day Centres

There are four Day Centres within Swindon, which are suitable for vulnerable older people or people with a physical disability. These are co-located within the Extra Care Housing schemes as follows:

Harry Garrett Court
Willow Walk
Swindon, SN4 0SE
01793 845567

Maple Court
The Street, Moredon
Swindon, SN25 3AF
01793 520190

Newburgh House
St Michael’s Avenue
Swindon, SN6, 7DW
01793 762746

The Ridings
Scarborough Road
Swindon, SN2 1NP
01793 435440

The cost of attending a Day Centre is £23.75 per day for 2019/20.

Availability can be obtained by contacting the relevant Day Centre direct and can be accessed by forwarding the Support Plan to the provider for consideration. The provider will then arrange either a home visit to the applicant or invite them to the Day Centre to assess suitability.

14. Learning Disability Day Centre

Swindon Borough Council has one in house learning disability Day Centre within Swindon called OK4U

Referrals for OK4U are made by the social care team once agreed funding is in place.

Broker will set the provision up, but any further detail will be managed from OK4U and the social care team.

15. Other Services

There are a number of additional services that are sourced and set up by the Adult Commissioning Team. This can include (but not exclusively):

  • Headway day service;
  • Jubilee Gardens day service;
  • Penny Hooks day service;
  • Horizons College;
  • Skills for Life Centre;
  • Inclusion Project.
All provisions will be actioned by the Adult Commissioning Team once confirmed funding and authorisation is in place.

16. Extra Care Housing (Referred to as Independent Living)

Extra Care provision is not set out as a regulated care provision in the Care Act. This means that a person's ordinary residence could be affected, regardless of the availability of local services or their capacity if:

  1. They have connections to the new area (family, friends, work, education or professional support networks); and
  2. There is a clear purpose for them moving to that area.

There are four Extra Care Housing schemes in Swindon. These are as follows:

Harry Garrett Court
Willow Walk
Swindon, SN4 0SE
01793 815081

Maple Court
The Street, Moredon
Swindon, SN25 3AF
01793 618928

Newburgh House
St Michael’s Avenue
Swindon, SN6, 7DW
01793 762746

The Ridings
Scarborough Road
Swindon, SN2 1NP
01793 435847

The schemes can be contacted direct to arrange a viewing for prospective tenants. Vacancies for these schemes are managed by the Social Care Housing Lead who will then liaise with the Assessment and Review Team for suitable referrals. All nominations to Extra Care Housing are made via the Social Care Housing Lead.

17. Swindon Carers Centre

Swindon Carers Centre (SCC) is commissioned to support carers in their caring role. They will carry out a registration process to ensure the right service is offered at the right time.

Swindon Carers Centre supports the following groups of carers:

  1. Adult carers (including carers supporting older people, carers supporting a person with a mental health problem and carers supporting a person with a drug or alcohol dependency);
  2. LGBT carers;
  3. Parent carers;
  4. Young adult carers;
  5. Young carers.

Adult Carers

Services include:

  1. Information;
  2. Signposting to other relevant organisations;
  3. One to one support;
  4. Benefits advice;
  5. Access to breaks and complementary therapies;
  6. Training sessions and self-help groups;
  7. Emergency Card scheme.

Parent Carers

Services include:

  1. Offer home visits;
  2. Provide practical and emotional support;
  3. Advice on rights as a carer;
  4. Provide information on local services;
  5. Help when parent carers are experiencing problems with services;
  6. Help with accessing various funding and grant giving bodies;
  7. Helping to access other services available within SCC, including support for Young Carers.

Young Adult Carers aged 18 – 24

Services include:

  1. Age specific activities;
  2. Links with local Colleges;
  3. AQA Unit Award Scheme certificates to use for college/university applications or employment i.e. CVs;
  4. Transitions Assessment when reaching 18 years old.

Young Carers aged 5 – 18

Services include:

  1. Young carer groups and activities during term-time and holidays to provide young carers time out from their caring role;
  2. Young Carers Assessment;
  3. Signposting to other relevant organisations.

Registering for support

Carers can get in touch directly to register and access support.

  • Adult Carer Support Services, call 01793 401090;
  • Parent Carer Support Services, call 01793 401094;
  • Young Carer Support Services, call 01793 401091;
  • Adult Carer Groups and Activities, call 01793 401095;
  • Young Carer Groups and Activities, call 01793 401092;

Office opening hours are 9.30am-4.30pm Mon-Thurs, 9.30am-4pm Fri.

Further information can be accessed via the website www.swindoncarers.org.uk or telephoning 01793 531133.

18. Varying, Ending or Suspending Services

You must contact contracts@swindon.gov.uk whenever there is a need to vary, end or suspend a service.

Included reasons and various circumstances in which we would suspend

This includes:

  1. Domiciliary care;
  2. Residential and nursing care;
  3. Supported living;
Where there is a need to end a service the contracts team will issue in writing to the provider a notice of period 28 days’ in relation the appropriate package of care.

19. Quality and Performance Monitoring and Reporting

Swindon Borough Council will conduct monitoring visits of all providers and services annually or, where there may be reason to do so, more frequently.

The resultant report from these visits will include a RAG (Red, Amber Green) rating for that service. Should a service receive a Red rating, the council will work with the provider to agree a timetabled improvement plan and the service will be monitored against this plan, the target date for completion of all improvements will initially be no longer than six weeks from the date of issue of the report.

Additional Focus visits will be made to the provider to evidence improvements against the action plan and re-evaluate the providers RAG rating.

Providers who receive an initial RAG rating of RED will be placed on HOLD whilst improvements are being put into place, if the provider is able to evidence that improvements are taking place and they are on track to improving their RAG rating providers will be reduced to a WATCH status whilst improvements are imbedded, only when this is achieved will providers be placed on a STANDARD status.

Where a provider is placed on HOLD or WATCH the provider will be contacted by a member of the contacts team who will advise of this change in status which will have been approved by the Head of Commissioning, a subsequent letter will be sent to the provider confirming this change in status and outlining the reasons for the status being placed upon the provider.  This process is the same for every provider status change that occurs within the contract monitoring and quality development process.

At all stages the Master Provider Summary Sheet will be updated to identify visits undertaken by contract monitoring officers to providers and detail RAG ratings assigned and status changes applied.

Once per calendar month Contracts Officers will meet with Commissioners and relevant representatives of partner teams and organizations to review progress and current status of each provider who has been placed on WATCH or HOLD and make appropriate recommendations to the Head of Commissioning in relation to any proposed status change.

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