Introduction

The Care Act (2014) requires local authorities to review quality at a service level as part of their new role of ensuring local care markets meet the needs of all local people, including self-funders. Despite the move towards community care, care homes remain the largest and most expensive provision of long-term care for frail older people in England. Ensuring that these services are providing good quality care is therefore high on the agenda of commissioners.

As part of a recent NIHR SSCR study and in response to demand from local authority quality monitoring teams, the research team adapted the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit (ASCOT) for use as a care home quality indictor based on residents’ outcomes. The new toolkit collects data through observations and interviews about residents’ quality of life.

The aim of this study is to pilot the new toolkit with a local authority in England and evaluate its use in routine quality monitoring. It will examine how ratings made using the new measure compare to aggregated data about the outcomes of individual residents and judgements made by the Care Quality Commission.