The importance of preventative spending for councils continues to increase. The benefits of preventative measures in mitigating acute spending are demonstrable, not only in health and social care but also in areas like education, crime and community cohesion, and environment. When taken alongside the existing, and further forecast, reductions in central government grants for local authorities, it becomes absolutely essential that councils and councillors make the most of the potential savings offered by preventative spend.
The Local Government Information Unit have released their latest free publication, in partnership with Mears and the British Red Cross, Tracking Your Preventative Spend: A Step-by-Step Guide, using Camden Council as a case study. In their own words:
Part of the challenge is to understand what constitutes preventative activity, how this links to outcomes and how much money councils spend on it overall. With this in mind, the LGiU with the support of Mears and The British Red Crossed worked with Camden Council to pilot a new approach to mapping preventative budgets against one of the council’s key outcomes from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework: to keep older people living independently for longer. This guide sets out the five steps to mapping and analysing spend, covering the practical steps taken, the outputs and challenges of each step.