Rutland County Council

 Cost Review & Audit Project

In August 2016, Rutland County Council commissioned ICS Assessment Services (ICS) to conduct a comprehensive cost review of children and adult placements funded by social care an education. As the geographic boundary of Rutland is small, the Council had been required, at times, to utilise provision ‘out of area’.

Rutland County Council were seeking to test the appropriateness of the cost, the quality of the care and that all necessary audit trails were established. From this basis the provider would identify cost savings (where appropriate), without compromising the quality or volume of care received. A further benefit of securing external expertise was an objective assessment of where the Council’s commissioning processes could be improved.


Key Achievements:

  • Over 120 cases screened with a view to further cost negotiation
  • 14.3% of placements with negotiated savings
  • Average £14,827 per placement per annum
  • 3:1 Return on Investment to the Council
  • £4.6M per annum spend on services reviewed
  • Development of detailed cost modelling and benchmarking measures



We were commissioned by to work closely with the internal commissioning team to review all out of area high cost placements across Older People, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Physical Disabilities and Special Educational Needs.

Over a period of 9 months, ICS sourced and reviewed baseline data for 125 out of area (OOA) placements, testing this against local and regional benchmarks and screening against defined audit measures.

Of the initial 125 cases provided, 35 were identified as ‘high cost’ in relation to fees against support levels. These cases were taken forward for detailed review and negotiation, the outcome of which was a 2.78% saving on actual costs, representing a 3:1 return on investment (RoI). To support an effective legacy, detailed cost models and benchmarks were supplied to the Council.


In addition, we were able to provide:

  • Review of key audit measures to ascertain the quality of provision
  • Development of cost modelling and benchmarking measures to allow the council to undertake the process in future
  • Development of client group score cards
  • Established functional links with host local authority commissioners
The Council approached ICS Assessment Services regarding the opportunity and, following a meeting with the team, we were confident that as a company [ICS] were capable of undertaking the work in a structured and sensitive manner.

ICS’s consultant developed a robust methodology and ensured that data was sourced to inform an accurate picture of care and associated costs; upon which negotiations could be undertaken. We were involved and advised throughout the process.

Internally, action was being undertaken to establish new commissioning processes and the insight provided by ICS’s consultant has been invaluable to this process. I would highly recommend ICS in the future for assignments of this nature.

Karen Kibblewhite, Head of Commissioning, Rutland County Council