Developing new carer funding allocation process

Developing new carer funding allocation process

carers finances - Developing new carer funding allocation process

Synopsis

Assisting a local authority develop a new process to allocate funding to informal carers.  Project resulted in a customised process for carers resulting in suitable allocations aligned to overall budget.

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Issues

We had previously worked with this LA in developing their RAS allocation and assessment forms.  The local authority (LA) required help developing a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ), testing it on a desktop basis, and calibrating the financial allocations to the available funding.  Due to planning deadlines limited time was available to implement a solution, which required rapid development of a working solution.

Solution

A working group was formed and met frequently during the process, initially to agree a process and action plan for the project, and provide feedback on key documents.

We developed an Excel based Carer’s Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) incorporating content required. This required several iterations as the LA tried to balance requirements of simplicity and transparency with collecting sufficient information on each area of need.

We guided development of a points based system which enabled reflection of effort and impact on life, assisting the LA to perform testing and collect responses.  This form was iteratively improved based on feedback and is now used to perform live assessments. It is linked to the financial allocation tool and provides an indicative allocation once this has been completed.

A plan was developed to assist client collect test results, and collect and collate data, which was inserted into the Carer Allocation tool (CAT).

We also developed a Carer Allocation Tool (CAT) which performs a similar function to the Resource Allocation Tool used for their LA’s RAS allocations. It collects test (and live) assessment data, and assumption about funding, scoring (points for each question), and other key assumptions. The key output is a financial allocation table, with allocations for future years also predicted. Five years of analysis is provided, and the model is able to be  updated and refined on a regular basis by the LA.  User Group category analysis and several other statistical analyses are also provided.

We have provided ongoing assistance to support the tool going live and provided updated versions of the CAT to reflect new requirements.

Outcomes

The LA successfully completed the desktop testing of the new Self Assessment Questionnaire. This has been updated and continutes to be used for live assessments. Once assumptions were finalised, the CAT has been used to develop the initial live allocation table, and it is the LA’s intention that this will also be used going forward to update and recalibrate the points allocation table.

Since the tool went live, we have continued to support the LA with updates to the Assessment form, plus other additions or improvements as required. The LA is pleased with the performance of the new tools and have been able to take ownership over the process.