09 July 2008 | Paul Snell
Public sector buyers will be able to simplify the complexities of adult care and reduce costs following the development of a cost breakdown "calculator".
The system breaks down the needs of an individual, which then allows buyers to assess what is a fair price for care. This is based on benchmark prices and the possible cost of meeting a patient's needs.
The tool has been developed because of the huge number of suppliers in the market, and the huge range of rates charged - with costs for services ranging from £400 to £4,000 a week.
The system was developed by the South East Improvement and Efficiency Partnership and has already been trialled by 70 councils and two primary care trusts in the South of England. The authorities have saved an average of 13 per cent by using the system.
Joyce Redfearn, chair of the Chief Executives Task Group, said in a statement: "The calculator makes a complex process much more transparent for service users, their carers, providers and commissioning staff alike."
There are also plans to adapt the calculator to cover care for groups such as children and people with physical or sensory impairments.
Buyers who want to use the calculator should contact their local Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership.