The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) is used both locally and nationally to set priorities for care and support, measure progress, and strengthen transparency and accountability. The purpose of the ASCOF is three-fold:
- Locally, the ASCOF supports councils to improve the quality of care and support. By providing robust, nationally comparable information on the outcomes and experiences of local people, the ASCOF supports meaningful comparisons between councils, helping to identify priorities for local improvement and stimulating the sharing of learning and best practice;
- The ASCOF fosters greater transparency in the delivery of adult social care, supporting local people to hold their council to account for the quality of the services they provide. A key mechanism for this is through councils’ local accounts, where the ASCOF is already being used as a robust evidence base to support councils’ reporting of their progress and priorities to local people; and,
- Nationally, the ASCOF measures the performance of the adult social care system as a whole and its success in delivering high-quality, personalised care and support. The framework will support Ministers in discharging their accountability to the public and Parliament for the adult social care system and will inform and support national policy development.
This handbook sets out the detailed definition of each ASCOF measure with worked examples, to support consistency in reporting and interpretation of the measures. The intended audience for this handbook is local authorities, members of the public and other stakeholders with an interest in social care outcomes, such as health and wellbeing boards, local healthwatch, and the voluntary sector.