The wider context

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Opening Public Services: a voluntary and community sector perspective Alison Blackwood Head of Policy & Knowledge London Voluntary Service Council alison@lvsc.org.uk. The wider context. New commissioning arrangements (the Work Programme, GPs, LAs) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Opening Public Services: a voluntary and community sector perspective

    Alison BlackwoodHead of Policy & KnowledgeLondon Voluntary Service Councilalison@lvsc.org.uk

  • The wider context

    New commissioning arrangements (the Work Programme, GPs, LAs)Health premiums and Joint Strategic Needs AssessmentsExisting and new involvement dutiesOutcome-based paymentsTargets around % of small and medium-sized independent providersIncreasing personalisationSocial Value Act 2011 & Best Value

  • What do we need in London?

    London has the most diverse population of all English regions, the highest rates of unemployment and child poverty and is one of the most unequal cities in the world. As such, reform of public services will pose particular opportunities and risks for Londoners. The White Paper provides little detailed information about how its proposals will meet the needs of all Londoners, improve services for the most disadvantaged and reduce inequalities.

  • What happened with the Work Programme?Contractors asked to invoke sanctionsTwo types of contract: Tier 1 and 2Tier 1Risks passed on to VCSTUPE posed a barrierTier 2No referralsLow confidence that meet needs of most disadvantaged parking?

  • Developing a diversity of providers
  • Developing a diversity of providersMarket intelligenceMarket structuringMarket intervention

  • Benefits for commissioners

    Better knowledge of the range and diversity of providers in their area Work with VCS to develop effective quality services that offer choice to users consortia Work with VCS to address identified gaps in service provision Better understanding of social and environmental benefits and measures Local services with local knowledge Look at people as a whole and are flexible More specialist services User involvement Innovation

  • A level playing field for the VCS Learn from the Work Programme: what is left? Appropriate risk and pre-payments: insurance? Early warning of, and support on, TUPE Negotiation of clear signed contracts before delivery work with other VCS groups A commissioning or sub-contracting standard, which is effectively monitored and with tough sanctions Use Social Value Act and Best Value

  • Will choice help users?Only ifintelligent commissioning develops marketa range of providers, including specialists, and over-capacityVCS providers role as advocates for users and their independence is valuedSocial and environmental impacts and user satisfaction inform provision and are properly measuredSupport for independent advocacy, brokerage and information services

  • Is there currently sufficient funding and will from Government to address all these issues?

    Is the VCS being set up to fail?

    Should the VCS withdraw from this agenda?

  • Providing a voluntary and community sector perspective of provider developmentA lot of the new structures proposed by this Government will require new ways of commissioningThe Work Programme appointed a number of prime contractors (3 in each of the 2 prime contract areas in London) who subsequently sub-contracted services they could npt provide themselvesUnder the NHS reforms local authority and GP consortia commissioning is supposed to place an emphasis on local knowledge and meeting local needs, but in London it appears that there will be only 3 large commissioning support organisations that will support GPs with the majority of their commissioning decisionsPositives for the VCS?:In health he new health premium to incentivise commissioners to reduce health inequalties could encourage commissioners to look at providing specialist services that target the most disadvantaged and community involvement is a requirement for Joint Strategic Needs Assessments so encouraging commissioners to put users at the centre of the commissioning process and provide them with the right choicesThe existing and new involvement duties could mean that commissioners will need be more accountable to the satisfaction of service usersPayments based on outcomes will mean that commissioners will look at long-term results, not short-term outputsAnd the Government at one time proposed a target for the % of providers that are small and medium-sized independent providers which might force commissioners to increase their knowledge of this market of providers, which includes the voluntary and community sector and also increase the personalisation of services through a greater range of providersThe Social Value Act 2011 and new CLG Best Value Guidance also encourages commissioners to consider the social and environmental impacts of service providers when deciding who to contract with

    All this would suggest that the VCs should be intimately involved in the new Open Public Services commissioning environment*A lot of the new structures proposed by this Government will require new ways of commissioningThe Work Programme appointed a number of prime contractors (3 in each of the 2 prime contract areas in London) who subsequently sub-contracted services they could npt provide themselvesUnder the NHS reforms local authority and GP consortia commissioning is supposed to place an emphasis on local knowledge and meeting local needs, but in London it appears that there will be only 3 large commissioning support organisations that will support GPs with the majority of their commissioning decisionsPositives for the VCS?:In health he new health premium to incentivise commissioners to reduce health inequalties could encourage commissioners to look at providing specialist services that target the most disadvantaged and community involvement is a requirement for Joint Strategic Needs Assessments so encouraging commissioners to put users at the centre of the commissioning process and provide them with the right choicesThe existing and new involvement duties could mean that commissioners will need be more accountable to the satisfaction of service usersPayments based on outcomes will mean that commissioners will look at long-term results, not short-term outputsAnd the Government at one time proposed a target for the % of providers that are small and medium-sized independent providers which might force commissioners to increase their knowledge of this market of providers, which includes the voluntary and community sector and also increase the personalisation of services through a greater range of providersThe Social Value Act 2011 and new CLG Best Value Guidance also encourages commissioners to consider the social and environmental impacts of service providers when deciding who to contract with

    All this would suggest that the VCs should be intimately involved in the new Open Public Services commissioning environment*The Work Programme is cited as an example of good practice in the Governments Open Public Services White Paper. However, LVSCs survey of Londons VCs organisations involved in the Work Programme found a huge number of problems.There are two sets of sub-contracts Tier 1 contractors provide end-to-end delivery from Job Centre referral to employment and have usually been guaranteed a particular number of referrals. However, our survey showed that VCs Tier 1 sub-contractors were having all the risk of the Work Programme contracts passed on to them by the prime contractors, regardless of their size. TUPE in which emplyees from prvious providers had to be taken on under the same terms of conditions also proved problematic for many of these providers and was often only found about at the last minute when they were getting ready to start delivering servicesTier 2 providers are often the more specialist providers that provide particular tailored services to those who are farthest away from gaining employment. Tier 2 VCS providrs in London are reporting that they are receiving very few referrals. It has made them unconfident that the Work Programme will meet the needs of the most disadvantaged people and suggestions that these people are being parked and not referred on to the organisations that could help them.This doesnt augur well for more choice and personalised services*In 2009 the Public Administration Select Committee found that less than 2% of public spending goes to third sector organisations. They identified that barriers to engaging the VCS are short-term contracts, disproprotinate levels of monitoring and bureaucracy, a lack of evidence of the impact of VCS services and a lack of capacity within the VSs to take on contracts. They recommended that if commissioners are to increase the diversity of providers, particularly from small VCS organisations they need to use what they call inteliigent commissioning*Intelligent commissioners would:know about the range of service providers in their local area, databases of VCs providersWould use needs assessment and proportional procurment processes to enxure the most suitable provider is selected, not just on the basis of price, but of quality, outcome and social impact.An intelligent commissinoer would know of gaps in local service provision and would help support the development of a market of providers that filled these gaps and offered service users a greater range of choice.

    *Intelligent commissioners would:know about the range of service providers in their local area, databases of VCs providersWould use needs assessment and proprotional procurment processes to enxure the most suitable provider is selected, not just on the basis of price, but of quality, outcome and social impact.An intelligent commissinoer would know of gaps in local service provision and would help support the development of a market of providers that filled these gaps and offered servcie users a greater range of choice.

    *Learn from the Work Programme.Public sector commissioners or prive sector prime contractors should take on the risks of long waits for payment be results and penalities for under-delivery by providing smaller providers with up-front payments and payments for delivery of outputs on the way to resultsAny TUP arrangments should be announced before the contracting process begins so that groups can plan for them and support should be providede to assist small groups with employyee transferVCs organisations should make sure they dont become bid candy they should ensure that they are not included in bids unless they have signed a legally binding contract and negotiate agreements on their involvement e.g. numbr of guaranteed referals and the time scale for these. Speak with other VCs organisations to find out and learn from the contracts they have negotiatedMost VCs organisations felt that the Work Proammes Merlin standard was not sufficiently strict or enforced. There needs to be a stronger standard determining how commissioners and prime contractors work with small providersCommissioners should be challenged to ensure that they have assessed social and environmental impacts of providers as established in the Social Value Act 2011 and the latest Best Value guidance for local authorities.*