The National Living Wage and changes in the way domiciliary care is contracted have led to Valuing Care undertaking a number of costing and market shaping projects in home care services. Set out below is an example of our work but if you would like to talk through your project please contact us. We can use our experience to help you get the right evidence base to set sustainable fee rates in the care market

Recent Example Project – South Gloucestershire Council

Valuing Care sample individual cases or providers to ensure a sufficient sample to cover the variety of cases commissioned. If this does not appear sufficient, additional cases can be added. The survey covers:

  • Time and task services
  • Delivery of care to urban fringe and outlying rural communities
  • Delivery of care to different client groups including; older people/people with learning disabilities and or mental health problems (optional)

Collection of the core data to construct an hourly rate for time and task services is relatively straightforward, following a similar methodology to residential care. This would seek to identify the usual/ average cost for each cost driver including direct staff costs, service management, office and overheads

The cost of travel time and travel expenses to care for clients living in rural locations will require geographical segmentation of the survey data, to allow the identification of usual costs of delivering care in each area. As travel time/cost is likely to vary depending on each home care agency’s resource of care workers in the rural area and the concentration of business (covering length of visit and time and distance between jobs), usual costs may vary considerably between agencies and will need to be handled carefully.

Valuing Care can also analyse the cost of supporting different client groups with different types of need which may vary. Care workers supporting people with learning disabilities and mental health problems are likely to command higher levels of pay than those caring for frail older people.

Regarding outcomes based services, Valuing Care will work with South Gloucestershire to develop a range of questions about usual/ typical levels of staff input required to achieve specific outcomes. The information available to care providers about usual staff inputs is likely to be more robust, particularly if they are already familiar with the target outcomes.

Survey Information Requested From Each Home Care Agency – Including Rural Differential

  • A detailed breakdown of the average operating cost of delivering a home care hour, including basic pay, employers on-costs, cover of holiday and sickness, service management, registered office costs and overheads.
  • Average travel time and travel costs for delivering care to the urban fringe/rural areas
  • Separate cost breakdowns for different service/skills types potentially covering; frail older people, learning disabilities, mental health problems (optional).
  • Estimates of usual staff inputs required to deliver specific outcomes as defined with the Council.
  • A summary of total hours provided each week from the registered office differentiating between service/skills types and localities served (to be used as corroborating evidence)
  • Copies of the financial or management accounts for the registered office (used as evidence)


Creation of Valuing Care Model Rates

The data collected from the individual cost surveys will be used to form sample groups covering different: geographical areas, service/skills types and outcomes. The sample will be used by Valuing Care to identify the range of values reported for each item of expenditure or time inputs. Valuing Care will use the median values reported by providers for each cost element to identify the usual cost of delivering services.

The survey results will be compared to Valuing Care’s model rates for domiciliary care, adjusted to reflect local costs through research into local staffing surveys and job advertisements, if necessary.

Successful corroboration of the local survey data against Valuing Care’s cost model and national evidence base, should provide the Council with a robust evidence base to inform rate setting for services.