Sutton’s Market Sustainability Plan

Last Updated: 27 March 2023

Market Sustainability Plan

As set out in section 5 of the Care Act 2014, local authorities have a duty to promote the efficient and effective operation of a market in services for meeting care and support needs, with a view to ensuring services are diverse, sustainable and high quality for the local population, including those who pay for their own care. 

The London Borough of Sutton (LBS) must assess and demonstrate how it will ensure their care markets, in relation to 65+ care home services and for 18+ domiciliary care services, are sustainable, as they move towards implementing reform.

Our Market Sustainability Plan will assess the impact current fee rates are having on the market and the potential future risks (particularly in the context of adult social care reform). This assessment will enable LBS to inform the development of mitigating actions, including how much they may need to increase fee rates over the three-year Spending Review period. 

Our Market Sustainability Plan should also complement other strategic documents, such as our Market Position Statement and demonstrate how we have worked with providers to develop the plan.

LBS is working closely with providers so that it can prepare the market for reform, and develop a shared understanding of evidence around the local costs of care to better understand where fee rates may need to increase.

Cost of Care Exercise

The cost of care exercise is an opportunity for the London Borough of Sutton (LBS) commissioners and local care providers to work together to arrive at a shared understanding of what it costs to run quality and sustainable care provision in the borough and that is reflective of local circumstances. It is also a vital way for commissioners and providers to work together to shape and improve the local social care sector and identify improvements in relation to workforce, quality of care delivered, and choice available for people who draw on care.

LBS is required to survey a range of providers (representative of the local market) as part of the cost of care exercise, to improve its understanding of the actual costs of delivering care in the borough. LBS is required to use the exercise to determine and report the median actual operating costs for the following categories, plus evidence and values for return on capital and return on operations. Together these make up the cost of care. The categories are:

  • 65+ care homes
    • standard residential care
    • residential care for enhanced needs
    • standard nursing care
    • nursing care for enhanced needs
  • 18+ domiciliary care

In addition to the median cost, the cost of care report is required to capture the lower quartile and upper quartile costs. This reflects that there are a range of local costs. The median figure will enable transparency and assurance that fee rates are moving towards the fair cost of care.

The outcome of the cost of care exercise is not intended to be a replacement for the fee-setting element of LBS commissioning processes or individual contract negotiation.

Annex B – Cost of care reports

Cost of care reports: transparently setting out the approach taken to data collection, analysis and reported results.

Link to Annex B: 65+ Care Home

Link to Annex B: 18+ Domiciliary Care

Annex C – Market Sustainability Plan

The Market Sustainability Plan provides the London Borough of Sutton (LBS) with an opportunity to share its assessment of current market sustainability and intended direction of travel to local markets and the public.

Section 1 – Assessment of the current sustainability of local care markets

Section 2 – Assessment of the impact of future market changes between now and October 2025, for each of the service markets

Section 3 – Plans for each market to address sustainability issues identified, including fee rate issues, where identified

Link to Annex C: London Borough of Sutton Market Sustainability Plan