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Commissioning relationship-centred care in Essex: an evaluation

How can local authority commissioners work with the care home sector to ensure older people consistently receive high-quality, relationship-centred care? This report reviews the improvements Essex County Council made to the commissioning of its care home services for older people. It evaluates the implementation and outcomes of the My Home Life Essex programme, introduced to improve the relationship between commissioners and care home providers, and to enable care home managers to focus on providing relationship-centred care.

This study published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that support networks established through My Home Life Essex resulted in better quality commissioning and an increase in managers’ ability to motivate staff to provide relationship-centred care to residents; and that Essex County Council’s corporate ownership of the new approach led to positive changes in the relationship between the council and the county’s care home sector, investment in the care sector, a focus on quality improvement rather than monitoring compliance, effective leadership and a support network for managers.

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