The Department of Health have launched the Adult Social Care Efficiency Tool.
The Adult Social Care Efficiency Tool enables councils to compare themselves with similar councils, or ‘statistical neighbours’, on a series of indicators that relate to efficiency. For the first time, statistical neighbours are specifically identified from the viewpoint of adult social care delivery, based on factors that are outside the control of commissioners. This provides a new basis for comparing expenditure and outcomes between councils and new sources for learning about improving value for money.
The statistical neighbours are specifically identified from the viewpoint of adult social care delivery for older clients and for working age clients with learning disabilities. This provides a new basis for comparing expenditure and outcomes between councils and new sources for learning about improving value for money.
The tool itself is now available online as a standalone excel document on GOV.UK. The two adult social care comparison groups are now available in LG Inform - you will need to register and sign in to view the relevant groups for your local authority.
About the Adult Social Care Efficiency tool
The tool allows councils to compare expenditure as well as the quality and quantity of the services provided with their statistical neighbours. The comparable indicators include adult social care expenditure per head, quality of services (as presented by Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) indicators) and access to services for the two largest client groups (older adults and working age adults with learning disabilities). It is a highly useful tool that can trigger discussions between councils with very similar social care contexts about why they are achieving different levels of outcomes locally for higher or lower levels of expenditure.
This tool is designed for use by councils to assess their own performance, and to identify where different approaches in comparable local authorities may yield lessons. It cannot be used to make judgements about the relative performance of councils in delivering adult social care services. Neither can it provide answers as to what the ‘correct’ price is for care. This is not about who is best or worst – this is about comparing local data with those councils who probably face very similar challenges, and by doing this gain new insights. It just raises questions that councils may wish to try to answer about how they can improve efficiency locally.
A ‘statistical neighbour’ is data speak for those councils closest in terms of demography, need and cost of services.