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Finance and resources

Working collaboratively with councils, Government departments and specialist consultancies / contractors, through the Care and Health Improvement Programme (CHIP), the LGA and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) led the development of a robust and transparent approach to evaluating the Use of Resources in adult social care to support sector led improvement.

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 Implementing a consistent approach to evaluating the Use of Resources in adult social care

The 13-step approach uses a set of questions to promote informed self-assessment and improvement, taking into account local conditions and bringing in challenge at each step. It helps councils to identify areas for further exploration, where spend and/or activity is significantly different from regional or national averages.

It is recognised that inconsistency in interpretation and data collection is a challenge for councils that will impact on the effectiveness of supporting sector led improvement. The Use of Resources support includes discussions with regional networks to review the adult social care finance and activity information each year. These discussions provide a chance to discuss the technical considerations around the national data sets used in this approach and to gain a more consistent understanding of the definitions behind the national finance and performance indicators.  

Use of Resources events and reports are aimed at directors and/or assistant directors of adult social care (ASC), ASC finance officers and performance leads. Four key reports are hosted on LG Inform to support quick and easy analysis of data for those steps which draw from national data sets. The reports are available to all registered local authority users and registration is free. You will need to sign in to access the reports.

  • ASC Use of Resources single LA view report uses data from NHS England's Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Reference Tables to examine the relationship between spending and activity for a selected area and comparison group. This is the primary single council view for LAs with charts.
  • ASC Use of Resources report - single LA view (abridged view): This is a shorter abridged single council view for LAs with some comparison with the previous year. 
  • Use of Resources Time Series Report: to help councils in reviewing a longer period, we have created a supplementary report that includes all core measures from the Use of Resources approach for the last five years.
  • Adult Social Care Use of Resources Narrative ReportThis report is new for 2022/23. It summarises key headline metrics from the adult social care finance and activity data for your area. This analysis would typically be used by PCH to provide written finance support for councils who request it. This automated report is being made available to all councils, though the area-specific conclusions have not been drawn. There is a comparison of the most recent year with the previous year, benchmarked against the national average, including some longer time series charts for a selection of the key metrics.

Please note that due to the impact of COVID 19 any comparison with 2021/22 and in particular 2020 must take into account the impact of the pandemic on both activity numbers and spending. The differing scale of cases around the country and the differing profiles of when the impacts occurred will also affect any comparison between councils. This makes any form of comparative analysis much more complicated and potentially misleading. 

If you have any questions about accessing the Use of Resources reports, please contact [email protected]

John Jackson, the national Care and Health Improvement Adviser (CHIA) for Finance is available to provide further guidance and support to directors of adult social care on the findings of the Use of Resources approach. If you would like further support please contact your regional care and health improvement adviser in the first instance.