With self-directed Support, providers are increasingly operating in a more competitive market where individuals become the commissioners and purchasers of their own support. Costing and contracting for support is now more individualised with a rise in the number of framework contracts as contracting authorities see these as creating flexibility and choice for supported people.
These challenges highlight the tensions for organisations who must balance flexibility with having assurance of sufficient resource to be able to plan effectively.
When thinking about sustainability providers should consider a range of things:
- How to directly market their support to individuals and families whilst promoting the values of their organisation.
- How to manage capacity and demand when delivering frontline services in a way that ensures financial sustainability.
- How to manage and value the workforce when support provision is becoming more flexible and personalised.
- How to maintain financial sustainability when relying on individual budgets for income rather than block contracts.
- Ensuring that there is an overall strategy for long term sustainability of the organisation and not just short term funding