The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework: What It Means for Your Council
The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) is a system currently in use in the UK that measures how well a range of support services achieve outcomes.
The ASCOF is used both locally and nationally to give the government and local councils the best possible understanding of the effectiveness of support services.
On the local level, the ASCOF aims to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of social care to enable councils to deliver better outcomes for the people who use their services. It does this by measuring progress via metrics and using the results to strengthen transparency and accountability.
Examples of measures from the most recent publication include the proportion of older people (aged 65 and over) who were still at home 91 days after discharge from hospital into reablement/rehabilitation services and the proportion of older people (aged 65 and over) who received rehabilitation services after discharge from hospital.
What Does the ASCOF Mean for Councils?
Nationally, the ASCOF informs the government on how to craft more successful national policy development. For councils, the ASCOF is a method of comparing areas in a trusted and meaningful way. This makes the ASCOF the best method for councils to report to their constituents consistently and transparently.
As regional authorities, councils are responsible for their own performance. The constituents of any region will look to the council when seeking improvements in adult social care.
Councils can, therefore, best serve their constituents when they understand their own strengths and weaknesses and take steps to deal with any problems.
Councils can use the sector-led improvement (SLI) approach to manage their performance. SLI is based on the principles that local authorities are responsible for their own performance, accountable locally instead of nationally and collectively responsible.
The framework is beneficial for councils as it supports them in improving the support services and quality of care they provide; it gives a national overview of outcomes and looks at the development of the framework moving forward.
How Can Councils Achieve the Best Outcomes?
Councils should use the SLI approach to its full potential, along with all networking and learning opportunities.
To do this, the various connections that make up the system must be strong. Everyone in the system needs to trust each other, which is fostered best by open personal and shared responsibility culture. Council workers should share both successes and failures and learn from mistakes.
Promoting closer integration with the NHS is a statutory duty of health and wellbeing boards in adult social care. This board can be a valuable forum to establish shared benchmarks and objectives that will be collectively monitored and assessed across services and with the NHS.
The jobs of local authorities are also made more difficult by pressure to achieve budget reductions simultaneously as providing the best possible social care. The best way of balancing these two mandates is to evaluate services based on value for money for the people who receive the care.
When thinking about value for money, councils shouldn’t discount the importance of a robust IT system. An efficient IT system is one of the best investments a council can make in the long-term and should be treated as such when reviewing budgets.
Get the Insights on How Your Council Can Prevent Falls for Older People
One of the best ways for council workers to achieve better ASCOF outcomes is to take advantage of learning opportunities. That’s why Inside Government is facilitating a one-day online training course on preventing falls in older people.
This interactive course will give you the tools to create and embed a tailored fall prevention strategy for your own organisation.
If these tools would be helpful in your day-to-day work, you can easily register for the course below.