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Market position statement for all age disability

Market position statement for independent sector providers who may wish to provide support in the county of Staffordshire for all age disability customers.

You can download this statement as a printer friendly version (1.1 MB) and also use it to save for offline viewing.

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Who is the document for?

This background document is to broadly signal intentions to existing and potential social care and support providers for all age disability citizens residing in the county of Staffordshire. The aim of the document is to help support commissioners and providers in working together to best deliver support for all age disability citizens and their families, ultimately enhancing the quality of their lives. All age disability includes citizens with:

  • learning disabilities (all ages)
  • autistic spectrum conditions (all ages)
  • physical disabilities (under 18)
  • special educational needs and disabilities (up to age 25)



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The county of Staffordshire, its all age disability customers and its priority outcomes

We are a two tier authority with eight district or borough councils:

  • Cannock Chase district

  • East Staffordshire borough

  • Lichfield district

  • Newcastle-under-Lyme borough

  • South Staffordshire district

  • Stafford borough

  • Staffordshire Moorlands district

  • Tamworth borough

Staffordshire is a large rural county covering 2,623 square km. Despite its' rural nature, most of its population live in five large towns: (Newcastle-under-Lyme, Cannock, Burton upon Trent, Stafford and Tamworth) and numerous market towns, small villages and hamlets across the county. 

Each district or borough varies in profile with considerable differences between the north and south of the county. It is diverse in terms of population profile and social issues, which is reflected in the type of care and support needed in each district.

Detailed, continually updated information about each of the districts can be found on these sites:

It is anticipated that the overall all age disability population in Staffordshire will increase by around 1.3% in the next 3 years. The major increase is projected to be in those over the age of 55 as people with learning disabilities and/or autism continue to live longer and the age groups 0 – 18 and 25 - 34.

There are a number of citizens currently under the age of 18 (mainly in educational residential establishments), who are likely in future to need accommodation and care and support solutions in either residential or community support settings. We are seeking to work more effectively and efficiently effectively for this cohort via it’s preparing for adulthood pathway. Evidence is also emerging of an increased complexity of need across the county, including as people live longer, more incidences of dementia.

Our whole life disability strategy 2018 - 2023 sets out what we will do to deliver our vision which are listed below:

  • build a healthy Staffordshire, with an environment that improves health and wellbeing for all

  • help people to help themselves, by giving simple, clear information and advice to enable and empower them to take responsibility for keeping themselves healthy, safe and prosperous

  • grow communities to support people, and which help people to live independently in their own home, with care and support from family, friends and the whole community

  • offer extra help for those who need it, to prevent and respond at times of crisis to get people back to independence

  • be honest about the options available, so that people understand who is eligible for support and who will pay for it and talk to people affected by any changes before they are implemented

  • maintain long term care services, working with our partners and providers to ensure that when people do require support, we can offer quality and safe services that meet people’s needs

  • utilise models of care and settings that maximises peoples opportunities for independence, living genuinely within communities
  • work with providers who are enablement focusses and use strength-based approaches

Please note: additional detail on the above and specific commissioning intentions is available in the whole life disability strategy 2018-2023.



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What have the all age disability citizens of Staffordshire and their families told us so far?

A cross section of citizens and their families have told us they would like the following:

  • individualised community support and more flexibility of support, to learn, enjoy and achieve in life and make genuine friends

  • reassurance that support will be made available for carers when they need a break

  • genuine choice and control in everyday life, just like everyone else

  • better information around the support they may be able to access

  • to be genuinely involved and listened to

  • people are genuinely supported by the council and providers during the shift towards self-directed support

  • to have well paid work opportunities (with support where required), as opposed to minimum wage or voluntary work, with an increased disposable income

  • support to make friends, be part of group activities and to do things together as a family

  • support to live an ordinary life, playing and learning alongside friends within their communities

  • support in making a smooth transition to adult life

  • families want opportunities to carry on or return to work

  • flexible support to respond to the fluctuating needs of illness and impairment

  • access to personal assistants to help support with day opportunities, through personal budgets and direct payments

  • transparency and greater understanding of what services and support cost

  • more opportunity for support during the 24-hour day including at evening time

  • opportunities to try things and see what works best, with simple solutions where possible

  • ultimate choice and control over how the money allocated to them is spent

  • people do not want to lose touch with their peers where building-based services are reprovided and would like local opportunities to meet and socialise with others

  • citizens wish to feel safe, free from abuse, harassment and crime and included within their community e.g. Citizenship Watch Scheme, Changing Places, increased wheelchair access and with less people abusing disabled facilities

  • ability to choose their care and support provider and staff

  • citizens and their families want a voice, to be valued, to be supported in developing their confidence, self-esteem and to be seen in a positive light

  • opportunities to make genuine connections with their communities


A cross section of citizens has told us so far that they would like the following specifically relating to accommodation:

  • choice and control in respect of where they live and increased options in respect of the types of accommodation available

  • genuine choice and control over whom they live with and whether they live alone or in friendship groups, with a more reasonable amount of time to make the transition from existing accommodation setting to new

  • support and security in respect of their accommodation choice i.e. secure tenure, with help managing money and paying bills in relation to their accommodation

  • repairs done well and in a timely fashion by professional people

  • accommodation that is big enough and flexible enough, so they have their own space when they wish, but also access to communal space if they so wish

  • the speed of finding suitable accommodation needs to be improved with less 'red tape' and fewer professionals involved in the move

  • accommodation is accessible and adaptable so as citizens age they can remain in their existing setting



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What are the areas that need strengthening in respect of the all age disability provider market in Staffordshire?

Whilst progress has been made in shaping the independent sector market for all age disabilities, there are a number of areas that need addressing further in order to ensure a diverse, sustainable and quality marketplace, shaped by the demands of citizens and their families. These are broadly summarised below:

  • improve capacity in Staffordshire to meet a diversity of accommodation and care and support needs of those with challenging and/or complex needs, including forensic needs i.e. those often going into out of county specialist residential provision or currently in 'Winterbourne' type accommodation i.e. transforming care

  • a greater breadth of options for community support for children with disabilities, including crisis or urgent care and specialist support for young people on the cusp of admission to care
  • increase in high quality local 'step down' accommodation

  • increase in expedient and quality accommodation solutions for those with a lower level of need and those living with parents

  • increase in the availability of accommodation and care and support options for those between the ages of 18 and 21, often coming from out of county specialist residential education

  • increase in accommodation and support options for those with learning disability and dementia

  • Increase in accommodation and support options for those with autism, including those with behaviours that challenge

  • further strengthening of the Shared Lives offer
  • increase in numbers if providers who can provide low or level floating support
  • increase in numbers of providers who can provide semi-independent living where there is not a need for constant on-site support

  • working with supported living providers who meet REACH standards and meet the real tenancy test

  • increase in number of available personal assistants (PAs), and help families understand 'what good support looks like' from their PAs

  • increase in the provision of 'background support' for citizens who for large parts of the day and night are independent

  • increased opportunities for support during the 24-hour day as opposed to traditional '9 to 5'

  • increase in the provision of preventative services which help prevent or delay the development of care and support needs or reduce care and support needs (including carer support needs), that builds on citizen and community assets

  • increase in day opportunities, especially for those with more complex needs, but also in the areas of the county where there is a lack of available support e.g. Staffordshire Moorlands and Tamworth

  • strengthen support and signposting for citizens who wish to gain and improve everyday life skills, to enable them to live as safely and independently as possible

  • strengthen universal services and general signposting for citizens and their carers, thus reducing the numbers relying on crisis support

  • improve quality and cost effectiveness of support and genuine involvement of citizens and families in judging quality of support

  • increased genuine opportunity for real employment

  • greater breadth of support options for those people up to the age of 25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), focussed on developing independence

  • development of new opportunities for short breaks and activities for disabled children and young people that help develop the skills needed to live as independently as possible, whilst providing parents or carers with a genuine break from the caring role

  • increase in the availability of foster placements as an alternative to residential care for disabled children and young people who are able to have their needs met in community settings

  • increase in providers in the Staffordshire marketplace able to offer price competitive residential care for disabled children who have complex needs, as we currently place over 50% of our disabled children 'out of county'

  • increase in providers who can provide accessible information and advice, including via social media, to all not just those with eligible care needs



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Where do we want to be, what will have to change and what are we going to do?

In order to continue the shift towards personalisation and community-based support, commissioners and providers need to work together to ensure person-centred approaches and coproduction in commissioning and market development, thinking locally and acting personally, seeking to work in accordance with national best practice.

Delivering cost effective, personalised and community-based support in the current financial environment requires a willingness and commitment from everyone involved to think and act differently. Stimulating markets and developing new models of care and support, needs all parties to be open to new ideas. Market intelligence and systems of communicating information to Citizens and their families need to be improved. Communication, information and interaction between commissioners and providers needs to be further strengthened.

Over the next three years, we will become less of a direct purchaser of services or a provider of services. Our primarily role will be that of commissioning. We will act in many ways as a conduit between providers, citizens and carers, using our influence and resources to ensure innovation and developments take place in a harsher economic climate. Citizens and their families will increasingly purchase care and support directly from providers via personal budgets, ISFs and direct payments, with care and support driven by citizens as opposed to being service-driven.

The end result must be a diverse, sustainable market that meets citizen aspirations and provides choice and control for citizens and carers, meeting needs, not wants but at a sustainable cost to the tax-payer of Staffordshire. There will be less direct commissioning by the local authority, which will take on more of a shaping and influencing role within the local market and encourage collaboration between providers. This will result in fewer block contracts between council and provider.

We have a greater responsibility towards the entire local all age disability population, rather than just those people accessing support via the council, encompassing people who already purchase their own care. This means wider responsibility to ensure that sufficient provision is in place across the market. Care markets will need to become more diverse, with high quality and sustainable providers that can meet the needs of those who wish to self direct their own support. As citizens have greater control, so the local authority position vis a vis the market changes; from one of market control to one of market facilitation.

Current plans to move forward include:

  • implementing the whole life disability strategy 2018-2023

  • review of framework agreements or dynamic purchasing systems for use by social work teams and for access by citizens who wish to self-direct their support

  • ensuring we measure our performance as commissioners against the principals, ethos and approach detailed in the commissioning for better outcomes route map

  • use of the brokerage function from age 16+

  • ensuring Staffordshire has a quality citizen service fund (ISF) offer in place

  • ensuring a diversity of community support accommodation options are available to citizens

  • reshaping of in-house services (residential and day opportunities)

  • continued dialogue with provider forums such as SARCP (Staffordshire Association of Registered Care Providers) and others in respect of all age disability market opportunities

  • working to find ways of further encouraging user and carer led organisations and social enterprises

  • implementation of the assistive technology strategy that encourages the use of assistive technology by the independent sector

  • encouraging the independent sector to proactively approach the commissioners with innovative ideas and local investment to improve life for all age disability customers in Staffordshire, without comprising procurement regulations, financial regulations or standing orders

  • working with local district and borough councils to ensure all age disability customers are able to access universal services and general needs accommodation

  • working with a range of housing partners to increase housing opportunities, based on countywide housing need

  • an asset-based approach from front line staff that fully takes in to account citizen assets and community assets, underpinned by an ethos and approach of personal responsibility and just enough support. Front line staff will be encouraging independence for citizens as opposed to creating dependence

  • Adult Learning Disability Team, Commercial Unit and Strategic Commissioning working to strengthen market intelligence in terms of knowledge around supply, demand and unmet need

  • review procurement practice against wider national reforms of public procurement with the aim of ensuring choice and control for customers, value for money over the long term, sustainability of supply and capacity building with small and medium providers

  • review short breaks provision, adult placement and supported living across the county of Staffordshire

  • continue the shift of resources away from larger scale residential and specialist building based day services provision to community support

  • continue the shift from in house provision to provision within the independent sector

  • working closely with the relevant CCGs around integrated commissioning

  • working closely with CQC regarding regulated services and 'right support, right care, right culture'
  • procurement and legal working with key partners to change (within the limits of law) traditional procurement to ones that trust disabled citizens and their families to know what is best for them and enable them to shape the support they need in the best way to make them equal citizens of Staffordshire

  • exploration with neighbouring authorities to develop and grow the market for children's community support
  • review of support options for children with disabilities to develop a more cohesive support system, able to step-up and step-down support quickly, by redesigning of current 1-1 support framework and community support framework
  • review of disability fostering and short breaks (including agency foster care) to bolster short breaks offer, maintain family stability, and redcue likliehood of needing additional higher cost support



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Where is our money currently spent and how will this change?

In light of the national economic situation and the on-going comprehensive spending review, it's imperative that we continue to ensure that funding is spent wisely, to meet the needs of the people of Staffordshire. In 2019/2020, gross spend in terms of all age Disabilities is detailed below.

Residential and nursing care

  • Independent sector - £38,647,000
  • In-house - £3,017,000
  • Total - £41,664,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 46.2%

Supported living

  • Independent sector - £19,699,000
  • In-house - £889,000
  • Total - £20,588,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 22.9%


  • Independent sector - £680,000
  • In-house - £1,166,000
  • Total - £1,846,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 2.0%


  • Independent sector - £0
  • In-house - £409,000
  • Total - £409,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 0.5%

Direct payments

  • Independent sector - £15,388,000
  • In-house - £0
  • Total - £15,388,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 17.1%

Day care

  • Independent sector - £2,000,000
  • In-house - £2,235,000
  • Total - £4,235,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 4.7%

Domicillary care

  • Independent sector - £1,320,000
  • In-house - £0
  • Total - £1,320,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 1.5%

Assessment and care management

  • Independent sector - £0
  • In-house - £3,626,000
  • Total - £3,626,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 4.0%

Adult placement

  • Independent sector - £1,023,000
  • In-house - £0
  • Total - £1,023,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 1.1%

 Total gross expenditure

  • Independent sector - £78,757,000
  • In-house - £11,342,000
  • Total - £90,099,000

Children with disabilities

Gross spend for children with disabilities for 2019/2020 is defined below:

Agency provided community support (including domicillary care)

  • £550,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 6.46%

Residential placements (social care only)

  • £4,500,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 52.84%

Direct Payments

  • £800,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 9.39%

Overnight short breaks (independent sector)

  • £500,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 5.87%

Aiming High community short breaks programme

  • £380,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 4.46% 

Specialist agency foster carers

  • £186,000
  • Percentage of overall budget - 2.19%

Total overall gross spend

  • £8,516,000

Please note: the information above does not include spend on disability foster carers. 

In light of the after-effects of Covid-19 and Brexit, is is likely that the financial position will be extremely challenging and it is imperative that commissioners and providers work together to ensure that services are high quality and cost-effective.

Independent sector providers will be expected to be more proactive with commissioners where they feel that support provided can be done so more cost effectively whilst maintaining good quality outcomes for citizens and we will seek to work with providers who can prevent or delay the development of care and support needs or reduce care and support needs. In the next three years, it’s anticipated that there will be a shift in expenditure that can be broadly summarised below:

  • as more accommodation options are made available to citizens, a shift in expenditure will occur in the independent sector from residential care to community support

  • as we cease, in the main, to be a provider of services through the rolling out of the in-house reprovision programme (residential and day opportunities), a shift in expenditure will take place from in-house to the independent sector. It is envisaged this will be predominantly towards community support as opposed to residential care

  • there will be a continued shift from block contract spend (via contracts between council and provider) to expenditure from council to citizen to provider, via the self-directed support route

  • for the avoidance of doubt, we are not saying that we will not support the purchase of residential care for all age disabilities. Where there is an assessed need, a proportion of expenditure will continue to be for residential care which will need to be person-centred, enabling, modern and tailored to the citizen, ultimately increasing choice, control and independence. Residential care will be procured through a new dynamic purchasing system



Required approach from providers working in the county of Staffordshire

Below details the approach we wish providers within Staffordshire to take when delivering services:

  • help people to live independently, with care and support from family, friends and the whole community
  • prevent and respond at times of crisis
  • provide quality and safe services that meet people’s needs
  • support Individuals to access and participate fully in life
  • consider an individual's strengths, talents and circles of support
  • focus on ability not disability
  • ensure the right support, in the right place, at the right price
  • ensure choice and control and the best possible value for money
  • ensure provision that is financially sustainable and statutorily compliant
  • look to continuously improve and modernise support
  • work with partners to ensure well planned, effective and coordinated support
  • help people to help themselves
  • work with local services and employers to help people access community facilities and support, training, work and leisure opportunities
  • support initiatives which can help people to be active members of their communities
  • promote and implement the use of new/assistive technology to help keep people with a disability safe and well but reduce their need to rely on outside agencies for their care and support
  • support individuals to utilise mainstream community services such as gyms and exercise classes, leisure establishments and classes, libraries and community groups
  • support individuals and families earlier in managing difficult behaviours through the use of positive behavioural support
  • support carers to identify their own support needs so they can remain mentally, emotionally and physically well and confident to keep caring
  • work with partners to implement ways of working that promote independence and reduce the need for formal support
  • ensure that support promotes inclusion, dignity, self-respect, and independence
  • individuals are provided with simple, clear information and advice
  • work with partners, including families, to ensure that everyone understands what we are trying to achieve, to set goals as part of support planning and check regularly to see if they have been met
  • support individuals to increase their independence and, where appropriate, reduce the level of support required over time to meet their eligible needs
  • ensure that quality monitoring systems are in place to support the delivery of safe, value for money support
  • ensure that the provider has signed up to Staffordshire County Council’s procurement portal and relevant tender opportunities for the council to be able to work with them. All provision moving forward will be on a contracted footing in most circumstances



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Conclusion: where commissioners and providers need to work together

In order to ensure a flexible, vibrant, diverse, sustainable, quality, cost effective market in Staffordshire, it is imperative that commissioners and providers work together to ensure a plan is in place and delivered to:

  • enable and support choice and control for citizens and their families

  • support citizens to translate their ambitions into reality

  • ensure that support is quality, cost effective and supports the whole community

  • create stronger, more collaborative relationships where commissioners and providers work together to shape the range of support available, making the best use of available resources whilst putting the citizen at the centre

  • develop opportunities for all age disabilities to access universal services e.g. leisure, local facilities, housing and health

  • develop opportunities for access to education and learning

  • shift away from block contracts between council and provider and deliver the personalisation agenda in active partnership

  • to encourage providers to sell support directly to citizens and their families in order to meet their needs i.e. direct payments, personal budgets, and ISFs etc

  • work together progressively to do things differently

  • create a collaborative environment where we work through the challenges together and improve information and communication

  • ensure that citizens are supported to live independently and safely in their own homes and communities where they wish to do so

  • ensure carers are appropriately supported i.e. flexible short breaks 

  • increase the availability and diversity of alternative housing options e.g. supported living and transitional accommodation or improved local housing offer

  • promote the use of assistive technology

  • ensure that residential provision is enabling, person centred and tailored to the citizen

  • ensure that prevention and early intervention support is available within the market that prevents, reduces and delays needs and costs

  • improve the quality of support provision

  • ensure that the council's commissioning staff is competent and effective commissioners and that engagement with providers is honest, positive and genuinely collaborative

  • ensure that citizens and their families are genuinely at the heart of co-production work between themselves, providers and commissioners

  • ensure support for those with a learning disability and/or autism is seamless e.g. from child to adult via the preparing for adult pathway

  • Ensure that new businesses and organisations are encouraged and supported.

  • ensure that information is available for citizens and their families in respect of services available and their quality

  • ensure that people are given the opportunity to live and be supported in Staffordshire where they wish to be, as opposed to out of county

  • ensure that the future is about outcomes, not about 'services'

  • ensure the right balance between quality and cost to make the best use of resources and achieve positive outcomes for citizens

  • ensure that the focus is on life and supporting citizens to aspire for and achieve their aspirations in terms of education, employment, where they live, health and a good social life

  • increase in providers who can support, enable, nurture and develop children with disabilities and work with the all age disabilities assessment and care mnagement function (Independent Futures) in a truly integrated manner

  • increase in providers who have an ethos and approach that promote well-being, reinforce personal responsibility, and promote independence and resilience, under pinned by an asset-based approach (citizen and community)

  • increase in providers who can support citizens through all ages and on the path of life, building trust along that journey

  • increase in providers who can support us in helping build stronger local communities, harness community capacity and capacity for self-management

  • increase in providers who take a genuine co-production approach with citizens, carers and families

  • good communication is in place between providers and communications around the sustainability of the provider market, recruitment or retention and workforce planning



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Further information

Staffordshire Connects

This is a website where every private, public and voluntary business or organisation offering products, services, activities or things to do to help people live a more independent, healthy active safe and fulfilling life can advertise for free.

Please put your details on the website.

Staffordshire Observatory

The site provides research and analytical support to Staffordshire Strategic Partnership.

The overall aim is to provide the partnership with a robust, comprehensive evidence base which informs decision making and service delivery, leading to better outcomes for the residents of Staffordshire. This website is a 'one-stop-shop' to access a wide range of data, information and intelligence on Staffordshire and its communities.

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