Display and comparison groups

FAQs about display and comparison groups


How do the display and comparison groups work in LG Inform?

LG Inform makes various comparative models avaiable, some of which are based on the ‘nearest neighbour’ methodology and others are simple categorisation of organisation types. Below is a list of the common models:

  • All English councils
  • Districts, metropolitan districts, counties, unitary, London boroughs, single tier and district councils, single tier and county councils
  • Children's services statistical neighbours
  • All local councils in the north east, north west, Yorkshire and the Humber, east midlands, west midlands, east of England, London, south east, south west
  • Mosaic near neighbours
  • All fire authorities, Metropolitan fire authorities, county fire authorities and combined fire authorities
  • Cipfa nearest neighbours
  • Rural/Urban Local Authority (LA) Classification (England)
  • Adult social care (ASC) expenditure statistical neighbours – older people
  • ASC expenditure statistical neighbours – learning disabilities

All English councils - This group consists of all councils in England. When you select this group you will be comparing the council of your choice with all other English councils.

Children's services statistical neighbours - DfE have produced these groups which identify councils with similar features within services for children. When you select this option the council you have selected will be compared with the 11 other councils with the most similar characteristics.

Districts, metropolitan districts, counties, unitary, London boroughs, single tier and district councils, single tier and county councils - these groups are based on different types of council. When you select one of these groups the council you have selected will be compared with councils that provide similar types of services.

All local councils in north east, north west, Yorkshire and the Humber, east midlands, west midlands, east of England, London, south east, south west. These groups provide the geographical neighbours of a selected council within a region. When you select one of these groups the council you have selected will be compared with all councils within the region.

Mosaic near neighbours - When you select this option, the council you have selected will be compared with the 11 other councils with the most similar statistical characteristics in terms of social and economic features.

All fire authorities - This group consists of all fire authorities in England. When you select this group you will be comparing the fire authority of your choice with all other English fire authorities.

Metropolitan fire authorities, county fire authorities and combined fire authorities - These groups are based on different types of fire authority. When you select one of these groups the fire authority you have selected will be compared with fire authorities of the same types of service.

Cipfa (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) nearest neighbours - When you select this option, the council you have selected will be compared with the 15 other councils with the most similar statistical characteristics in terms of social and economic features.

Rural/Urban Local Authority (LA) Classification (England) – These groups are based on different levels of rurality. When you select one of these groups the council you have selected will be compared with councils with similar levels of rurality that is similar numbers of residents living in urban/rural settings.

Adult social care (ASC) expenditure statistical neighbours – older people” and “ASC expenditure statistical neighbours – learning disabilities” - DoH have produced these groups as part of Adult Social Care Efficiency Tool which identifies like councils specifically from the viewpoint of adult social care delivery, based on factors that are outside the control of commissioners for the two largest client groups (older adults and working age adults with learning disabilities). When you select this option the council you have selected will be compared with up to 15 other councils with the most similar characteristics. For further information on the Adult Social Care Efficiency Tool see below.

Department of Health client group nearest neighbours Adult Social Care Efficiency Tool

The Adult Social Care Efficiency Tool enables councils to compare themselves with similar councils, or ‘statistical neighbours’, on a series of indicators that relate to efficiency. For the first time, statistical neighbours are specifically identified from the viewpoint of adult social care delivery, based on factors that are outside the control of commissioners. This provides a new basis for comparing expenditure and outcomes between councils and new sources for learning about improving value for money. 

The tool allows councils to compare expenditure as well as the quality and quantity of the services provided with their statistical neighbours. The comparable indicators include adult social care expenditure per head, quality of services (as presented by Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) indicators) and access to services for the two largest client groups (older adults and working age adults with learning disabilities). It is a highly useful tool that can trigger discussions between councils with very similar social care contexts about why they are achieving different levels of outcomes locally for higher or lower levels of expenditure. The methodology behind the development of the tool has been reviewed by Dr Jose-Luis Fernandez from PSSRU unit of the LSE.

It is very important to emphasise that this tool is for use by councils to assess their own performance, and to identify where different approaches in comparable local authorities may yield lessons. It cannot be used to make judgements about the relative performance of councils in delivering adult social care services. Neither can it provide answers as to what the ‘correct’ price is for care. It just raises questions that councils may wish to try to answer about how they can improve efficiency locally. Further information about the tool can be found here: www.Gov.uk