Could your Local Authority’s waiting lists actually be costing you more money?

Waiting lists can be a difficult topic for some Adult Social Care departments to address. Unfortunately, as those of us who work in front line Social Work know, waiting lists have become a common way of managing a surge in the demand for adult social care services. In addition, with departments struggling to recruit Social Workers, and existing staff stretched to breaking point, these waiting lists are growing longer and longer, with the number of people waiting longer than 4 weeks for an assessment increasing significantly.

The problem with waiting lists on your Local Authority’s budget

While waiting lists might seem like a good idea, they often hide significant problems and lead to more costly and urgent interventions being required. It is here that Local Authorities are having to spend more in order to manage these crisis situations, when earlier intervention could have eliminated the need for any spending.

Our experience has shown us that with waiting lists, people often fall into one group, there are those who are able to advocate for themselves, or who have family/friends to do it on their behalf. This group will make repeated contact with their Local Authority, often finding themselves allocated a worker quicker due to their persistence. There are those who unfortunately pass away while waiting for an assessment, or end up in hospital for an extended stay. And then there are those who wait, without making any further contact with their Local Authority. It is this group who will wait until things reach a crisis point before making contact again, and what might have begun as a simple need for signposting to the relevant charity or community programme, at no cost to the Local Authority, has now become a need for an emergency respite placement or urgent care, often at a significant cost.

The ideal situation is to ensure these people are seen at the earliest opportunity, to ensure that they don’t descend into these crisis situations, meaning that savings can often be made in stretched Local Authority budgets.

How do you tackle these waiting lists while struggling with existing work and staff shortages?

At Socia Partners we know that this isn’t easy. With service stretched and demand growing, it can feel an impossible tasks to get on top of waiting lists, however this is a task which is likely to be a requirement of the upcoming Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections. Those Local Authorities with long waiting lists are likely to find themselves at the lower end of the ratings.

Luckily we have a solution. With our services and bespoke packages, we can support Local Authorities to clear their waiting lists through both ongoing and one off projects, not only supporting with cost savings through a reduction in crisis situations, but also through helping your Local Authority to meet its Care Act 2014 duties and improving your CQC inspection reports.

Make sure you contact Socia Partners to see how we can support your Local Authority with your waiting lists and save money in your budget in the process.


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