A questionnaire for service users may make it easier for councils to make the economic case for adult social care interventions.
The Measuring Outcomes for Public Service Users toolkit will help commissioners and providers measure value for money of services, including residential or domiciliary care, based on improvements in outcomes to service users.
The questionnaire has been developed by the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent.
It is one of the first pieces of work to emerge from the School for Social Care Research (SSCR), part of the National Institute for Health Research. The SSCR was launched last May with £15m to spend between 2010 and 2014 on finding new ways to improve social care practice.
Martin Knapp, director of the SSCR, said the importance of proving cost-effectiveness of services had increased dramatically during the recession.
He said after the SSCR’s first annual conference in London: “If social care can’t demonstrate that it’s cost effective and achieving good outcomes for communities it will become extremely difficult for the sector to protect its funding.”
The toolkit is due to be launched on the PSSRU website in June.