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Supporting better commissioning and transforming homecare quality in Ealing

Rubina Ali, Contracts & Business Manager, Ealing Council explains how Ealing is leading the way in London by moving to a new way of market shaping and care Provider quality assessment, using the latest systems to ensure that care services are safe and of high quality.

Now we’re taking things a step further. Those working around me now hear me talk about ‘PAMMS’. This intriguing acronym stands for Provider Assessment and Market Manager Solution developed by the East Region of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and healthcare technology specialist, CM2000.

PAMMS provides a wide range of performance data and intelligence that helps us ensure our care services are safe, reliable and good quality.

The system gives us greater ability to effectively monitor contract performance of care Providers in our Borough. The first assessments we have done through the tool have been a real eye-opener. We’re now empowered with additional information that allows more consistent benchmarking of services. We can detect problems at an early stage which reduces the risk of Provider failure and all the disruption this can cause. We can also ensure we are targeting our resources where they are most needed.

With Ealing’s current work around driving value through procurement and contract management, PAMMS ticks lots of boxes in relation to market management, service quality and monitoring.

We will be enhancing our use of the software over the coming months to include a ‘Risk Profile’ which is designed to help Councils’ to spot potential homecare failings. This rates our home care Providers across many indicators including our local PAMMS ratings, CQC rating, Electronic Call Monitoring indicators (e.g. missed visits, continuity of care, staff turnover) and a Providers credit rating. This will allow changes in performance to be picked up at an early stage reducing the risk of Provider failure and enabling our Contracts Management Team to intervene before problems occur. It’s not in anyone’s interest to allow our Providers to fail. It causes distress to Service Users and Care Workers, as well as creating extra costs and workload for Council staff.

There is much talk in the industry about the importance of monitoring for failing Providers and using intelligence to assess risks. PAMMS is a great way for us to continuously monitor delivery, manage services effectively, detect problems at an early stage and ensure resources are targeted where they are most needed. We want to ensure that those who require care and support in the Borough get the best possible services, whilst at the same time ensuring we get good value for resident’s money.

Two other London Boroughs are already following our lead and it is anticipated that further rollout of the technology will increase the ability to share quality data whilst achieving administrative efficiencies. With many Providers working across LA boundaries, particularly in London, this will be good news as it will cut down the number of separate assessments they have to undergo.

At such a challenging time for social care we’re excited about the impact of this technology.
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