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Predicting and managing demand in adult social care

Report | April 2016

IPC Visiting Professor John Bolton offers a personal view about how councils with responsibility for adult social care can more effectively predict and manage demand for their services.

His report draws on his direct experience of work across the United Kingdom. It builds on an earlier paper, "What are the opportunities and threats for further savings in adult social care?" and aims to act as both a prompt and a guide as to what might be considered when councils need to predict and manage demand for social care.

The discussion paper shows that demand prediction and management is more complicated than simple population projection. It suggests that some demand on adult care is within the influence of the council and explores behaviours and practices that can help, as well as why some councils are better at doing this than others.

The paper looks at the variables that might be considered when seeking to understand likely future needs in order to predict future potential demands, and suggests that if councils want to manage demand better, they need more sophisticated analysis and performance management arrangements.