CareCubed: Delivering care cost clarity

CareCubed is iESE’s new secure online tool, which gives clarity on the cost of specialist care and helps manage care spend - a pressing issue for more than 200 local authorities with a social services responsibility. The new product builds on iESE’s decade of experience with the Care Funding Calculator, with the new product even better equipped to help manage the ongoing challenge of commissioning the right care for an individual at a value for money price.

CareCubed brings significant enhancements to the modelling of care costs in line with changing patterns of care provision, as well asease of use on mobile devices, a fresher user interface and enhanced support for 'What If' options and analysis and collaboration within and across organisations. It is already being used by more than 60 organisations in England, Scotland and Wales.

Over the last eleven years, iESE has seen a shift in emphasis for CareCubed customers. For commissioners, value for money is still extremely important but that’s balanced with the critical points of meeting individuals’ needs, and ensuring a viable local care market.

Paul Mensah, Team Manager (Adults), Care and Support Brokerage at Oxfordshire County Council achieved significant quantifiable savings – around £1.2m in a year at a previous local authority - with CareCubed's predecessor, the Care Funding Calculator. He is now implementing CareCubed at Oxfordshire County Council. “With CareCubed we can save a lot of money for the local authority and at the same time get value for money for our service users,” he said.  In addition to savings, we see CareCubed bringing greater visibility of costs to inform management decision making.

There’s a mutual dependence between care commissioners and care providers who deliver essential services in local communities. And they contribute significantly to local economies too – figures published by Skills for Care (www.skillsforcare.org.uk) have highlighted the number of jobs and gross value added by the care industry in each local authority area. iESE has always positioned CareCubed as a transparent tool for use by providers as well as commissioners, and we’re pleased to see an increasing number of care providers subscribing to CareCubed. Commissioners also see the benefits of working more transparently with their providers. Diana Sherwood, Project Manager at Hackney Council, said: "It is a transparent tool and they realise that we’ll expect them to provide us with evidence where we don’t agree on some of their costs. CareCubed helps to maintain a good relationship and also standardise how we operate with all providers,” she said. 

One of the most satisfying things is to see how CareCubed supports commissioners in defining and sourcing the right specialist care package - in particular the management of improvement outcomes to help build greater independence.Rebekah Cooke, Team Manager, Community Team for Adults with a Learning Disability at Milton Keynes Council, said CareCubed brings some softer benefits too. "CareCubed is really helpful and quite user-friendly, particularly when you are trying to use it, not just as a negotiating tool with providers, but when talking to family members, carers and also service users themselves about how the hours are broken down and how much time is allocated,"she said.

Vanda Leary, iESE’s Digital Business Lead, has led the transformation to CareCubed and with colleagues in iESE’s CareCubed team has reflected on the range of CareCubed implementations they’ve seen. “Our customers have a variety of objectives – whether that be achieving savings, implementing CareCubed as the resource allocation system for specialist placements, or supporting transformation to a progression model for promoting greater independence – but the most successful have one thing in common and that’s a well-managed implementation.

“It’s so important to have a clear policy of why and how you are using CareCubed, to embed CareCubed in your processes for a consistent and effective approach, and to measure the impact. We’re very happy to support our customers in their implementation as much or as little as they need,” she added. 

Further development of CareCubed is underway. A CareCubed App and greater reporting and analysis functionsare currently in development. iESE is also working with users to validate CareCubed for use with specialist children's placements and more widely for older generations. Our next user forum will take place in Manchester this autumn. 

·      Email CareCubed@iese.org.uk or visit www.iese.org.uk/carecubed-tool to find out more