Overhaul of social care data collection process unveiled

Government reveals new ways of collecting data in bid to improve care and support services

The Government has announced an overhaul of the way social care data is collected to help improve the way care and support services are measured.

The data we currently collect from local authorities about adult social care is outdated and has not kept pace with the transformation into the new care and support system

In order to support the new ways of collecting data, the Department of Health has agreed to give local authorities an extra £11.13m of funding, revealed Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb.

The data will be collected by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and published annually. The statistics will help to improve social care standards by looking at the results people who use care and support are supported to achieve, rather than counting activities and processes.

In 2010, the HSCIC led a review, working closely with councils, to consider the types of data they would need in order to understand how well they are doing in providing personalised, high-quality care and support.

The review recommended changes to data collection, which will be phased in over the next couple of years, and include:

  • A new safeguarding collection, replacing the current Abuse of Vulnerable Adults collection
  • A new data item on staff qualifications be added to the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care for September 2014
  • That the existing social care activity and finance collections be replaced by a new collection on Short and Long-Term Support (SALT) and new finance collection

This new data will help local authorities to identify areas of improvement and give local people the information they need to hold councils to account, helping to make them genuinely answerable to local people for the quality of local care and support.

Lamb said: “The data we currently collect from local authorities about adult social care is outdated and has not kept pace with the transformation into the new care and support system.

“The new data will help us to see how each council is performing in delivering better results for people in local communities who use care. This will give councils the information they need to deliver care and support that is integrated, personalised and responsive.

“Each local authority will receive money to cover costs of moving to the new data collection system, which forms part of wider work to transform the care and support system to be more integrated.

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