Starting our local authority assessments – updated guidance published

Published: 8 December 2023 Page last updated: 13 December 2023

Last month, we published the findings of our 5 local authority pilot assessments and an update on our approach to formal assessments.

Guidance for local authorities

Today, following government approval, we are publishing our updated guidance for local authorities. This guidance will support local authorities to understand how we will assess them. It includes the framework we will use to assess how well local authorities are performing against their duties under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014. We have reviewed and updated some areas of the guidance and framework following a formal evaluation of our pilot assessments carried out during May to November 2023.

We will continue to develop and refine our approach during the initial formal assessments and may update our guidance if needed.

Assessments will use a subset of the quality statements from our overall assessment framework which will apply to providers, local authorities and integrated care systems. This is because local authorities are being assessed against a different set of statutory duties to registered health and care providers.

The updated guidance replaces our interim guidance which was published in February 2023.

Information return

We are also publishing the information return which we will send to individual local authorities at the start of the assessment process. We will be starting to issue the first notifications and information returns to local authorities during next week.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Care Functions) Regulations 2023 describes the local authority functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014 that we must assess. The information return is a tool for collecting evidence used in our assessment of how a local authority is carrying out those adult social care functions.

We are publishing the information return content to help local authorities understand what we will request when we start an assessment.

It enables us to review key documents, related information and data. This will help us to plan the assessment and indicate what further evidence we will assess when we visit a local authority. It also helps us to understand national trends, issues, performance, and innovation across England.

Some of the information will inform our national reporting, such as our annual State of Care report.

See more information about local authority and integrated care system assessment