The Health Foundation launched a new programme aiming to fund exemplar projects that demonstrate how data analytics can be used to improve social care.
COVID-19 is having a profound impact on people needing and using care, and their carers. Analysis is urgently needed to help us understand the problems they are facing and the actions that need to be taken, ahead of a possible resurgence in the virus.
The Health Foundation has explored the key challenges the social care sector is facing in the COVID-19 era. We have hosted workshops with people who use care services, carers, providers, care technology developers, local authorities, researchers, and membership bodies for providers and for front-line staff. Participants came from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, from domiciliary care and residential care, and included adults with a range of ages, needs and experiences.
Our workshops identified three key priorities:
- Improving the quality of social care for cohorts of people that experience the worst outcomes.
- Building a resilient, safe workforce.
- Understanding the lived experience of people needing social care.
We wanted to support social care providers and commissioners to tackle these problems using innovative data analytics. In some cases, this may require new data collections to be made.
The pandemic has revealed major weaknesses in the social care data system. These problems made it harder for the country to respond to outbreaks and to support carers to provide care during the pandemic, and ultimately led to avoidable suffering for our most vulnerable people.
We have supported teams to demonstrate the effective use of data analytics in social care, and to share their learning with other social care analytics teams, including through our community of practice.
The Strengthening Social Care Analytics programme has been evaluated by SQW, and you can find the report outlining their findings below.