The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) has been published annually since 2010-2011, and draws on data from a number of collections. The ASCOF Handbook of Definitions, published by the Department of Health, provides in-depth information on the purpose of the framework, the construction of the constituent measures, and context for their interpretation. The 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.
Nationally, the ASCOF measures the performance of the adult social care system as a whole and its success in delivering high-quality, personalized 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.
The ASCOF encompasses four domains. These are:
– Enhancing quality of life for people with care and support needs.
– Delaying and reducing the need for care and support.
– Ensuring people have a positive experience with care and support.
– Safeguarding adults whose circumstances make them vulnerable and protecting from avoidable harm.