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

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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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 performance is significantly different to 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. Three 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.

Please note that due to the impact of COVID 19 any comparison with 2021/22 and in particular 2020/2021 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. 

Updating the reports for 2022/23: NHS Digital will be publishing the underlying adult social care activity and finance data on 19 October 2023. Whilst the data is updated in LG Inform, access for all registered local authority users will be temporarily switched off for the individual local authority reports covering the finance year. When available, updated reports for 2022/23 will be sent in the first instance to all adult social care local authority contacts via the regional networks. Access to the interactive reports covering the financial year 2022/23 will be restored to all local authority users of LG Inform in November. 

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.