CQC Quality Statement

Theme 4 – Leadership: Learning, improvement and innovation 

We statement

We focus on continuous learning, innovation and improvement across our organisation and the local system. We encourage creative ways of delivering equality of experience, outcome and quality of life for people. We actively contribute to safe, effective practice and research.

1. Introduction

This chapter provides a summary of the ways in which performance indicators and outcome information can be used to measure how well care and support services are achieving the outcomes which matter most to people. It focuses on the national Adult Social Care Outcome Framework (ASCOF).

A summary of the ASCOF is published annually by NHS England. Health and Wellbeing Boards can use the ASCOF, alongside other local information sources, to inform their Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and the development of Joint Local Health and Wellbeing Strategies (see Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Local Health and Wellbeing Strategies chapter).

2. Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework

ASCOF is used both locally, regionally and nationally to measure progress against key priorities and strengthen transparency and accountability. It measures how well care and support services achieve the outcomes that matter most to people, and provides comparable information on the outcomes and experiences of people who use adult social care, and carers.

The ASCOF sets outcomes-based priorities developed from six key objectives for people who are using care and support, unpaid carers and professionals who provide care and support:

  1. Quality of life: people’s quality of life is maximised by the support and services which they access, given their needs and aspirations, while ensuring that public resources are allocated efficiently.
  2. Independence: people are enabled by adult social care to maintain their independence and, where appropriate, regain it.
  3. Empowerment: information and advice: individuals, their families and unpaid carers are empowered by access to good quality information and advice to have choice and control over the care they access.
  4. Safety: people have access to care and support that is safe and which is appropriate to their needs.
  5. Social connections: people are enabled by adult social care to maintain and, where appropriate, regain their connections to their own home, family and community.
  6. Continuity and quality of care: people receive quality care, underpinned by a sustainable and high-quality care market and an adequate supply of appropriately qualified and trained staff

The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework: Handbook of Definitions states:

‘The key roles of the ASCOF are:

  • Locally, the ASCOF provides councils with robust information that enables them to monitor the success of local interventions in improving outcomes that matter most to people, and to identify their priorities for making improvements. Local Authorities can also use ASCOF to inform outcome-based commissioning models.
  • Locally, it is also a useful resource for Health and Wellbeing boards who can use the information to inform their strategic planning and leadership role for local commissioning.
  • Locally, the ASCOF also strengthens accountability to local people. By fostering greater transparency on the outcomes delivered by care and support services, it enables local people to hold their council to account for the quality of the services that they provide, commission or arrange. Local authorities are also using the ASCOF to develop and publish local accounts to communicate directly with local communities on the outcomes that are being achieved, and their priorities for developing local services.
  • Regionally, the data supports sector led improvement; bringing councils together to understand and benchmark their performance. This, in turn, stimulates discussions between councils on priorities for improvement, and promotes the sharing of learning and best practice.
  • At the national level, the ASCOF demonstrates the performance of the adult social care system as a whole, and its success in delivering high-quality, personalised care and support and achieving good outcomes. Meanwhile, the framework supports ministers in discharging their accountability to the public and Parliament for the adult social care system, enabling oversight of care and support services and continues to inform, and support, national policy development (Department of Health and Social Care).

The ASCOF draws together data from a range of sources, including data collected by local authorities (for example client level data collection, the Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS) , Survey of Carers in England (SACE), the adult social care workforce data set and the safeguarding adults data collection) and nationally collected data from the Office of National Statistics and Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Data collected under the ASCOF is not used by the government to manage the performance of local authorities, rather it should be used to inform and support sector led improvement and strengthen local transparency and accountability.

3. Further Reading

3.1 Relevant information

Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework – Handbook of Definitions 

Measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (NHS England)

Social Care User Surveys (ASCS and SACE Data Collections)

Care data matters: a roadmap for better data for adult social care (Department of Health and Social Care)

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