Forest Contract

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					Supporting People           Contract         Compliance     Monitoring        in
Bracknell Forest

Following the award of a Steady State Contract to services commissioned
through the Supporting People programme, there is a requirement to have an
appropriate monitoring system in place to ensure that each service continues
to meet its contractual obligations and deliver good outcomes for users of the

Prior to the award of the Steady State Contract, services were assessed using
a rigorous service review process which scrutinised the strategic relevance,
the detailed costs and the quality of each service. The service provider also
had to prove itself as being on a sound organisational footing via an
accreditation process.

Only those services which passed these rigorous tests were awarded Steady
State Contracts so the annual monitoring of these services should focus on
the areas of concern and of continuous improvement.

This document sets out Bracknell Forest’s approach to contract compliance.
We wish to introduce a simple system which will allow us to map continuous
improvement and gather examples of good practice with a minimum of
desktop scrutiny and a greater focus on outcomes for service users and user

The Process
For the SP Team to effectively monitor and improve the performance of
individual Supporting People services, service providers need to be clear
    • What is expected of them (the targets they are aiming to achieve);
    • How well their current performance matches this expectation;
    • What the reasons are for any variance between target and
    • What actions need to be taken to address this;
    • The learning, both of improving practice and identifying good practice
       that can be captured.

The method by which this will be achieved is in two parts. At the first stage of
the process the SP Team will write to the provider giving 3 weeks to supply
the following information in relation to the service(s) being monitored:
   • Copies of valid insurance certificates
   • Training records for support staff for the period
   • A budget breakdown for the service
   • Evidence of improvement on 3 of the QAF objectives as advised
   • Any exceptional performance information

The SP Team will assess the information together with the performance
extracted from the workbooks and any other relevant correspondence such as

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complaints, queries or compliments received about the service to prepare for
a contract management meeting.
The data captured via JCHSR will also be interrogated to ensure that levels
of new service usage reported through this route are consistent with
information about move-on from short term services ( KPI2 data) and the
throughput (SPPI4 data).

Stage two of the process is the contract management meeting with the
service provider which will take place 3 weeks after the information has been
received from the service provider. The meeting will take place at the service
if possible or alternatively at the Service provider’s offices.

As part of the meeting the provider will be required to produce evidence which
supports the information given in the workbook. This covers:
      The utilisation of the service
      The staffing hours available for that service
      The move-on records for that service (if applicable)

The meeting will discuss the provider’s progress of the QAF objectives,
focusing on three of the 6 core objectives together with the supplementary
objective of Service User involvement.
Providers will be required to produce any other documents which support the
information given at stage one (e.g. financial records etc).

A standard agenda for the contract monitoring meeting is given as follows:

   1. Update service information and contract manager details
   2. Performance data
         a. Utilisation
         b. Staffing
         c. Throughput
         d. Client Record Forms
         e. Outcomes
   3. QAF assessments
   4. Service user involvement
   5. Financial information
   6. Complaints and concerns
   7. Stakeholder feedback
   8. Contract negotiation issues
   9. Any other business

In order to ensure that the bureaucracy is kept to a minimum, the level of
discussion for each of the agenda items will depend upon the performance of
the service in relation to the agenda item in question. For example, if the
utilisation of the service is within set targets, there will be little need for further
discussion on this item. The detailed monitoring process is given below.

Not all services carry an equal amount of risk, or the same level of
requirement for contract management. As contract management time carries
a cost for providers, and takes up the finite resource of the Supporting People

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team, it needs to be appropriately focused. The first contract compliance
meeting will discuss the risks associated with the service and set levels of risk
through negotiation.

1. Service Information
The first item on the Contract Compliance meeting agenda gives the service
provider an opportunity to give a general overview of the service and highlight
any changes to the staff of the service, any issues regarding the building etc.

2. Performance Data
There are three avenues which inform the performance of the service:
   a. The PI Workbooks
   b. The data from JCHSR on Client Record Forms
   c. The data from JCHSR on Outcomes

    a. PI Workbooks
All service providers are required to return PI workbooks on a quarterly basis
as stated in the steady state contract. The procedure for dealing with non-
returns is given in the SP procedure manual. The annual compliance meeting
will focus on any aspect of non-performance in this area and may also require
evidence to verify the data on any aspect of the information supplied.

    b. Client Record Forms
Data supplied by JCHSR will be checked for consistency as well as
compliance. Inconsistent data will be discussed at the Contract Compliance
meeting but if a Service Provider is found not to be completing Client Record
Forms, the matter will be raised as soon as the SP Team becomes aware of
it. Further non-compliance will bring forward the compliance monitoring
process for that provider.
For some services, a benchmark or target may be set against aspects of data
that can be captured via the client record forms. For example, some generic
services may have benchmark levels negotiated for access for certain service
user groups, such as people with substance misuse issues or offenders.
Levels of cross authority access may also be specified as targets. Service
providers will be made aware of any targets set and these will be negotiated
at the first Contract compliance meeting. Levels of fair access will also be
monitored, ensuring that access to minority groups is at least at the level of
prevalence in the borough.

    c. Outcomes
The CLG’s Outcomes Framework for short term services has been adopted
from 1st July 2007 in Bracknell. This requires service providers to submit an
outcomes form to JCHSR whenever a service user leaves a service. This
information is then collated and sent to the relevant authority periodically to
advise the local authority about the outcomes being achieved by service users
at service level. A similar process will be adopted for long term services as
soon as the guidance is issued from the CLG.
This is a very new system so it will be reviewed and may be modified.
Meanwhile, the Contract compliance meeting will focus on the information
received on Outcomes as a significant part of the agenda item.

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3. Quality Assurance Framework (QAF)
Bracknell Forest values the QAF process for its ability to track continuous
improvement of a service provider’s performance and has opted to retain it as
an indicator to be used as part of the contract compliance process as per the
The SP Team will wish to see the service provider’s progress in achieving a
higher score than at the last assessment and will select 3 of the 6 core
       • Needs and Risk Assessments
       • Support Planning
       • Security, Health and Safety
       • Protection from Abuse
       • Fair Access, Diversity and Inclusion
       • Complaints

Plus the supplementary objective:
       • Empowerment.

The service provider will be informed of the 3 selected QAF objectives and will
be required to submit the evidence of progress as part of stage 1 of the
process. The Contract compliance meeting will be used to verify the staff’s
understanding and implementation of the relevant procedures.

4. Service User Involvement
The contract compliance meeting will verify the progress of the service in
relation to involving service users in shaping the service as well as assessing
the service user’s satisfaction with the service. This will be carried out by
speaking directly to service users. The SP Team is aware that service users
may choose to give feedback in different ways and so a questionnaire will be
made available as well as a mini-meeting as requested by the service users.
Service users will be consulted on their preferred method of feedback prior to
the contract compliance meeting.

5. Financial Information
The service provider will be required to present a detailed budget of the
service together with the latest set of accounts relating to the service. The
details expected are:
       • Staffing costs (including management input costs)
       • Training costs
       • Travel costs (if any)
       • Specific service provision costs (translation services etc)
       • Administration costs
       • Overheads (with a breakdown of what that includes)
       • Any other service related costs
       • Income streams for the service in detail
The budget and accounts will be requested at stage 1 of the process and any
anomalies will be discussed during the contract compliance meeting. The
financial information will be assessed against the VfM formula and any service

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costs which fall outside of the parameters given will also be discussed at the

6. Complaints and Concerns
The contract compliance meeting provides an opportunity for both parties to
discuss any general complaints, concerns or other comments which have
arisen during the year, as part of the culture of learning from complaints.

7. Stakeholder issues
The contract compliance meeting also provides both parties with the
opportunity to discuss the views of other stakeholders of the service. This may
be in relation to the influence of the service on other service departments,
meeting outcomes for LAAs etc.

8. Contract Negotiation issues
The contract compliance meeting will conclude with discussing the overall
impact of the service on the strategic priorities of Bracknell Forest and its
partners, the performance standards of the service and the required
improvements (if any). The discussion will lead to negotiation of the contract
for the future. The meeting itself cannot determine the future contract as this
decision rests with the Commissioning Body for Supporting People. However,
the service providers views will be recorded and the final report will include
the conclusion of the discussion.

The Assessment Report
The process described above will conclude with an assessment report on the
service. As described in the introduction, the report will focus on areas for
concern, improvement and good practice. The report may include an agreed
action plan for improving the service and may make comment on the current
contract value if it is identified as an issue.

The report will be sent to the service provider within 2 weeks of the Contract
compliance meeting with a response time from the provider of a further two
The provider may appeal against the outcome of the report but only in so far
as challenging the contents of the report if they are deemed to be inaccurate.
The appeals procedure forms part of the operational manual and is available
on request.

The report will be summarised for presentation to the SP Commissioning
Body together with other service reports unless, there is a recommendation to
terminate the service or there are very specific concerns about the service
which may lead to termination of the contract.

The decision of the SP Commissioning Body is final.

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