Hounslow engaged extensively with the local market. The engagement programme commenced with a briefing for care homes at the April Care Home Forum. This session was an introduction to the COC exercise and outlined the national guidance and wider context as to how the exercise would impact them in their capacity as care homes providers in the borough.
From May Peopletoo were commissioned to support engagement and provide an independence to the exercise, addressing a concern raised by providers in initial sessions on confidentiality of data and commercial sensitivity. Peopletoo were introduced through an email from the Older Persons Commissioner to each provider.
Peopletoo hosted further workshop events in June. This gave providers an opportunity to go through the tool and how they should complete it. These workshops weren’t as well attended as previous events. This was not unique to the borough. The experience of both Peopletoo and the LA indicated a targeted, personalised 1-2-1 approach was more successful and so was adopted moving forward.
Working with authorities in NW London further MS Teams hosted engagement sessions were held in mid-August. These sessions were better attended and provided greater depth of feedback from providers.
Where submissions were lower than anticipated, follow up calls were made by Peopletoo to providers to encourage their participation. Contracted providers were further encouraged and supported to complete the exercise directly through the LA and contract meetings.
Peopletoo emailed all providers of care homes at least 3 times. Similarly, all providers were called at least 3 times. Due to the size of the organisations both big and small, the financial duties didn’t always fall on the registered managers. Those who had attended earlier events weren’t necessarily the person who was best placed to complete the cost of care exercise within the organisation. Some smaller providers had the same staff in their back office and delivering care so were harder to engage. Larger organisations often took a centralised approach to submission and weren’t always the same people as those that had attended events.
Providers were offered 1-2-1 sessions with Peopletoo either by telephone or by MS Team meetings. This enabled providers who weren’t as comfortable engaging in a group to ask specific questions related to their business. Understanding that Peopletoo maintained confidentiality and anonymized the data provided to the LA, they did complete the exercise.
|Category||No. of Care Homes||% Out of Care Homes in Scope||Total No. of Registered Beds||% Out of Total No. of Registered Beds in Scope|
|Engaged with Exercise*||9||100%||548||100%|
|Returns which can be used||6||67%||355||65%|
This multi-prong approach led to a significant increase in submissions and a sample size which covered 67% of the care homes in scope.
* Providers that registered/attended a session, emailed for support or engaged on the phone regarding the exercise