CIPFA sets out three-step process to improve social care outcomes


The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has proposed a three-step framework that will enable councils to deliver good value for public money and improve outcomes for vulnerable social care service users.

As a result of efficiencies and short-term decisions taken by local authorities in response to tightening budgets, spending on social care services has reduced by 3% in real terms over the last decade. The framework set out in CIPFA’s Planning to deliver good value in demand-led services publication seeks to enable councils to plan for an uncertain future by implementing good practice, delivering better value and improving operational and financial resilience.

The three steps involve first assessing how demand and costs are changing, then exploring how to reduce these pressures - which is only possible with the third step, providing the right investment to deliver.

The guidance also emphasises the importance of bridging the gap between plans and service-level realities, as well as the role of business partnering.

CIPFA Health and Social Care Policy Manager, Dr Eleanor Roy said:

‘‘Planning in demand-led services like social care is challenging at the best of times, never mind under the current circumstances. However, with increasing pressure on resources and tight budgets, the need to do more with less is ever greater.  

‘‘While additional funding and longer term reform are required, there is always room for improvement and to learn from the experience of others. This framework is intended to support a realistic picture of demand to enable services to remain within planned budgets and to help ensure their sustainability going forward.’’

The guidance draws on the experiences of several local authorities who have successfully delivered good value in the areas of adult social care, children’s services and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 


For further information please contact the CIPFA press office on T: 020 7543 5647 or E:

Notes to editors:

  • The publication is available for purchase here.
  • A press copy of the guidance is available on request.
About CIPFA 
CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. CIPFA shows the way in public finance globally, standing up for sound public financial management and good governance around the world as the leading commentator on managing and accounting for public money. 

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