Fee setting and negotiations with providers

Setting fees is tricky. Care providers, rightly, want and expect to be paid a fair fee for their services but budgets are tight. Of course there is legislation that needs to be followed and, whilst it is great that care workers will be paid more, how on earth are authorities going to fund the national Living Wage?

We believe that when setting fees authorities need to have a discussion with their market about what they are looking to buy – for many service users authorities are hoping for an improvement in individual outcomes but this ambition is rarely reflected in how services are purchased. And what about those people for whom it is not realistic to expect improved outcomes? Only when both parties are clear on what the service is can there be an honest conversation about price.

We have worked extensively with local authorities to facilitate this conversation and can help you too, so get in touch if you'd like to know more.

Frank Curran  07515 875381

Frank Curran is our lead on adult social care. Since 2002 has worked with 38 local authorities, helping them improve the commissioning and delivery of social care. Of course adult social care doesn’t sit in splendid isolation from the rest of the world; Frank has a detailed understanding of the importance of links with housing, health, public health, public safety and the wider community and how to make the most of these links.

We worked with Wiltshire Council on a review of fees paid for learning disability services. We developed a new fee setting methodology that controlled costs by focused commissioner and providers on what outcomes care packages were trying to achieve.


We have worked with Cheshire West and Chester on three fee setting projects:

  • older person care homes
  • home care
  • learning disability services

In each project we recommended appropriate fee levels to the council taking into account the local cost of providing care services and securing real savings on each budget; in each case we also reviewed how services were purchased and whether this supported the Council’s broader ambitions.