Strategic Commissioning

Commissioning Strategy

This commissioning strategy sets out at a high level how Cumbria County Council proposes to shift the balance of care to meet the growing needs of local people with reduced levels of funding, and in doing so how the Council will focus on the promotion of wellbeing through the commissioning of Adult Social Care. 

The Commissioning Strategy can be accessed from the following link:

Commissioning Strategy for Care and Support delivered by Adult Social Care 2016 to 2020 (PDF 4.3MB)

Extra Care and Supported Living Strategy 2016 to 2025

Extra Care housing and Supported Living accommodation play a key role in enabling people to maintain their independence in their own home for longer thus preventing, reducing or delaying the need for higher level services such as residential care. 

The Council aims to transform the provision of services for older people across the county by increasing the availability of Extra Care housing schemes. By facilitating the development of new schemes across a range of tenures, the aim is that by 2025 Extra Care housing will be a viable option of choice for all older people across the county.

Further details can be found at Extra Care Housing and Supported Living in Cumbria

Structured Conversations

The Council is currently holding Structured Conversations with Framework Residential & Nursing and Homecare Providers to understand the pressures on the Health and Social Care system.  These conversations explore a range of themes, including recruitment and retention, sustainability and capacity and discharges from hospital.

If you would like to take part in these conversations, please contact to request an appointment and someone will be in touch to arrange a Microsoft Teams meeting with a member of the team.

Last year Cumbria County Council undertook a survey of adult social care providers to find out about the costs of delivering care. This was required of all local authorities with responsibility for adult social care by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in order to prepare for the planned (but subsequently deferred) implementation in October 2023 of reforms to adult social care funding.

A number of caveats and limitations were identified by the Council in its submission of the survey findings to DHSC, including the quality of the financial information received from some providers, issues with the prescribed methodology and reporting requirements, and difficulties in excluding information outside the scope of the exercise. In the Council's view these issues negatively affect the value and reliability of the findings from the exercise.

However, there were some useful insights, particularly in relation workforce challenges and rates of pay, and the Council will seek to reflect these in its forthcoming Market Sustainability Plan due for publication later this year. 

As a more immediate response, the Council also implemented a series of in-year contract fee uplifts to run alongside a number of other financial assistance and grant programmes for adult social care providers. Although the Council was able to utilise its allocation from the Market Sustainability and Fair Cost of Care Fund 2022-23 to partially fund these increases, the overall level of investment required significantly exceeded the funding received from Central Government for this purpose, meaning that much of additional cost is being funded from Council core funding. 

It is important to note that adult social care contract fees are established as part of the wider annual budget setting process and will have regard for the fee uplift mechanism(s) within the existing contracts. However, care fees are only one element of the overall budget setting process and Councils have a statutory responsibility to approve a balanced budget for the next financial year and ensure that in the medium term the Council is financially sustainable.

Annex B - Care Homes (PDF 352KB)

Annex B - Domiciliary Care (PDF 327KB)

Providers can contact the Strategic Commissioning Team through the mailbox.