May 12, 2022

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13 Local Authorities across the South West region, including Somerset, have recently agreed to implement a Provider Assessment and Market Management Solution (PAMMS), supported by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (South West ADASS).

The PAMMS tool was co-produced with care providers when the South East regional Local Authorities came together to produce a tool for use that would enable them to consistently measure quality, spend and activity within commissioned services. It is now recognized nationally as a good practice tool, used by 3 regions and 50 local authorities.

All local authorities are committed to the engagement and participation of social care providers in the phased implementation of the tool. The Southwest regional project group have engaged with the Southwest Stakeholder Forum to start introducing and socialising the PAMMS tool and plans for implementation.

Local authorities have a requirement to:

  • Meet their statutory duties under the Care Act 2014 including care market oversight and management;
  • Achieve measurable improvements in provider quality and provide evidence of interventions;
  • Demonstrate real time market insight & analysis of provider markets quality;
  • Enable a common, regional approach, delivering efficiencies & consistency in provider engagement;
  • Use technology to enable an intelligence-led, risk based approach to market oversight, allowing for timely interventions.

While PAMMS is a new digital system for us, it is not new activity.  Somerset (in common with other LA areas) already undertakes a wide range of quality assurance activity and contract management approaches with our care providers. What we are trying to achieve through PAMMS is greater regional consistency of approach so that we can fulfil our duties as an LA for safe commissioning and market assurance in a way that is not arduous for providers and can be managed within available resources to achieve better outcomes for the people who receive Social Care.

The system will inform and direct support from the LA alongside our contract management processes. There is no current intention in the South West to immediately ‘publish’ quality ratings, recognising we are not a regulator and we have no ambition to step into that space; until such time as the system ‘matures’ and there is consultation with the market the PAMMS system will be an internal tool which complements and strengthens our existing quality and market.

 Benefits to providers:

  • Reduces the need for multi-agency assessments from other Local Authorities
  • Evidences service improvements
  • On-line portal for assessment feedback & co-produced action planning
  • Improve quality ratings – Luton experienced 26% outcome domain improvements
  • Improve care service quality
  • Peer benchmarking – share best practice and support sector led improvements
  • Allows quality ratings to inform brokerage decisions.

Benefits regionally and locally:

  • Reduces multiple QA assessments & action plans
  • Increased capacity within the QA team, allowing the team to focus on care quality and Service Improvement
  • Self-Assessment functionality included – allowing Localities to manage quality and risks remotely
  • Reduce the impacts of provider failure
  • Quality Assure all regulated and non-regulated services
  • Demonstrates the impact of interventions by the Local Authority
  • Share care market quality with CQC leads
  • Supports local, sub-regional, regional & national collaboration.

Local authorities will be implementing several modules during 2022/23 and undergoing training to use the system effectively. The majority of the modules do not require any additional resource from providers as open source or local authority held data is used:

  • Population & Prevalence
  • Quality Assurance
  • Provider returns
  • Spend and Activity
  • Risk Profile.

There are six sections in which to assess the provider’s quality.  Standards are assessed in all appropriate areas in order to ‘triangulate’ the evidence:

  • Assessment, Care Planning & Reviews
  • Service User’s Experience
  • Care Worker Knowledge & Understanding
  • Staff Training & Recruitment
  • Environment, Equipment & General Safety
  • Leadership, Quality Assurance & Management

Somerset’s Adult Social Care Provider Quality & Contracts Team plan to pilot the PAMMS Quality Assurance approach with a group of providers later in the summer before any formal or widespread launch, and work with regional colleagues to ensure consistency in application of quality assurance.  Further detail will follow as regional and local plans progress.

To find out more about PAMMS: