Measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework

May 2019: This chapter was amended to include the latest version of the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework 2018-19: Handbook of Definitions.

1. Introduction

This chapter outlines local and national key performance indicators and outcome information. It is part of the wider performance management framework. It provides information about the national Adult Social Care Outcome Framework (ASCOF) as well as locally agreed key performance information.

Performance against the ASCOF is published annually by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. The Department of Health and Social Care also provides an annual report on the national picture. The Health and Wellbeing Board via the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment should use local ASCOF data as well as other information sources, to inform their Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (see Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies).

2. Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework

ASCOF was first published in March 2011, and is reviewed annually to update the measures to reflect outcomes for adults and carers.

An outcome is defined as the end result for an adult who has used local authority funded social care and support service (Health and Social Care Information Centre). This could be, for example, receiving financial support, being admitted to a care home or being provided with information and advice.

ASCOF enables the local authority to see how they are performing in implementing local changes required as a result of the Care Act 2014. This includes supporting people to maintain their independence and their connections to the community, and ensuring they have control over the care they receive.

ASCOF is used both locally and nationally to:

  • set priorities for care and support;
  • measure progress; and
  • strengthen transparency and accountability.

It provides comparable information on the outcomes and experiences of people who use adult social care, and carers.

The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework 2018-19: 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, 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. Meanwhile, the framework supports Ministers in discharging their accountability to the public and Parliament for the adult social care system, and continues to inform, and support, national policy development (then Department of Health, 2017; p.1)
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