Introduction

Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities (LAs) are required to actively shape the adult social care (ASC) market, with an emphasis on ensuring the availability of high quality services. Anecdotal evidence and isolated case studies aside, little is known about how LAs are approaching this role.

In light of the paucity of evidence and given the evident strains on ASC resulting from financial constraints, this study seeks to provide evidence to support LAs to understand and promote social care quality for older people at a local level in England. The first phase of this study will map the interventions used by LAs to promote quality and try to identify LAs with similar quality profiles by looking at patterns across a range of quality indicators. The second phase involves three LAs and will evaluate the implementation of specific quality interventions selected in partnership with each LA. The third phase will draw out transferable lessons.

This study will provide a deeper understanding of the range of instruments used nationally to promote quality and the relationship between different quality indicators and local circumstances. It will also provide evidence concerning how to implement interventions to promote quality within ASC markets.