Six Steps to Managing Demand in Adult Social Care - a performance management approach

A new report from the Institute of Public Care (IPC) at Oxford Brookes University highlights how taking a performance management approach can help Councils deliver outcomes and better manage demand in adult social care.  

The paper, co-authored by Visiting Professor John Bolton and IPC Assistant Director Philip Provenzano, provides a helpful model for measuring service delivery and identifies six critical steps for managing demand in social care, a range of strategic objectives as well as suggested performance indicators and targets. It builds on IPC’s earlier work looking at how Councils deliver outcomes and manage demand, suggesting that improving performance management can assist in delivering change.

Councils rarely have a clear strategy on managing demand for social care services and, where they do, often fail to properly analyse data to understand the impact of that strategy. The authors draw on IPCs extensive experience over nearly 30 years supporting organisational development in local authorities across the UK.

An executive summary of this new report is available on the IPC website.  To request a full copy of the report please contact

The paper has received media coverage including articles in Community Care and Public Sector Executive which focus on the importance of the 'front door' first point of contact as an effective means of managing demand and meeting the needs of people seeking advice and support, in many cases avoiding the need for formal assessment while delivering better outcomes.

More about IPC

You can find out more about our work over many years on managing demand on our publications page.  If you would like to know more about how we can help you, please contact us at