Market sustainability and contingency planning

Making sure that social care provider markets are sustainable is a key task for adult social care commissioners.


The following resources help commissioners think about how to support their local markets become more sustainable, as well listing resources that can help you contingency plan so that you can act quickly if an adult social care provider does fail.

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) has produced guidance and templates to help independent and voluntary providers ensure continuity of care, and to ensure their business can continue, if a problem occurs. They are being produced in collaboration with CPA members, ADASS and the Department of Health and Social Care. (June 2020)

Contingency planning tips for the business failure of a major social care provider - May 2018

Most councils will already have detailed local contingency plans in place and are well practised in dealing with individual provider failure. This briefing is designed by the LGA and ADASS to provide top tips for DASSs in anticipation of the rarer event of the failure of a major social care provider.

Contingency planning - communication with people receiving care support and their families when providers fail October 2018

This briefing from the LGA and ADASS provides tips for council staff drafting communications for people receiving care and support and their families or other representatives when a provider fails. 

Care and Continuity: Contingency Planning for Provider Failure
Section 48 of the Care Act and associated statutory guidance place a requirement on councils to ensure there is continuity of care in the event of care provider business failure. This guide gives an overview of policy relevant to ensuring continuity of care in the event of service interruptions, as well as practical guidance for developing contingency and continuity plans which can be quickly put into place in the event of a provider failure.

Provider failure and emergency incidents - A checklist for regional response
Local authorities all have emergency planning arrangements in place and guidance exists to support authorities in the event of provider failure or similar emergency situations.  In recognition of the increased risk of provider failure across more than one local authority area, this document provides an additional checklist to enable regions to plan for such an eventuality and to facilitate a more widely co-ordinated response.  The intention is for this checklist to be used to develop bespoke plans for the respective regions.

Six top tips for resilience planning in adult social care and health commissioning
Six detailed tips with suggestions to help thinking and planning for commissioning sustainable and resilient responses to need. These include short and longer term considerations covering availability of provision; system wide approaches on hospital discharge; working with providers; workforce; processes and information.

Market sustainability guidance and toolkit
This comprehensive guidance and toolkit suggests a robust but straightforward way that councils can engage in light touch market oversight. It will help to reach a view about the sustainability of local care markets and the providers within them, be in a better place to meet their Care Act duties and promote and maintain the wellbeing of their local populations.

This guidance and toolkit was produced by Cordis Bright following extensive consultation with the sector and with the input of an expert panel.

Developing contingency plans for adult social care services
From exceptionally bad weather, a fuel shortage or a pandemic, to financial or quality problems, there are many circumstances that can disrupt services provided by the independent and voluntary adult social care sector. This guide has been written to help providers develop plans to ensure continuity of care if a problem occurs.

NW ADASS contingency planning toolkit and guidance
In 2019 North West ADASS published a regional “Contingency Planning Toolkit and Guidance” to assist councils in that region with their contingency planning for potential or actual provider failure. This guide has been developed utilising best practice from the region and national approaches whilst recognising that every situation is different and it is up to the responsible officer to decide the best approach for the given situation.

Guide to Public Service Markets
The Institute for Government have developed the “Analyse your service and market - diagnostic tool” as part of their website area guide to Public Service Markets which explains what they are, why we have them, and how to manage them more effectively.  This tool helps councils consider the  underlying characteristics of public service markets to help identify areas of risk and possible improvements. The tool generates a report showing problematic areas, risks and ways to mitigate them.

Communications in emergency or crisis situations: LGA Communications Support Hub