Today, we have published the findings from our review of Adult Social Care statistics in England. The need for good data to support delivery of adult social care should not be underestimated. While there is rightly a focus on delivery of social care, a scarcity of funding has led to under investment in data and analysis, making it harder for individuals and organisations to make informed decisions. This needs to be addressed if social care is going to evolve to support a changing society and meet the increasing demands expected over coming years. Data matters in solving problems, supporting efficiency and improving outcomes.
Our review identified important improvements needed covering: leadership and collaboration; data gaps; and existing official statistics. We would like to see stronger leadership and collaboration across government to support better data on adult social care and, as the body holding the data and publishing the majority of the statistics, we consider NHS Digital should be taking a leading role in implementing improvements.
As part of our review of existing official statistics, we considered the quality and value of official statistics about adult social care against the standards set out in the Code of Practice for Statistics. It highlighted improvements around accessibility, coherence, quality, timeliness and granularity of the data. The review included outputs published by NHS Digital, immediate actions related to these outputs are outlined in the Annex to this letter.
Improved statistics are essential to support policy makers who are developing proposals to reform the funding and delivery of adult social care as well as individuals who will be able to hold government to account and make better informed decisions about issues which impact the lives of themselves and their families.
We will continue to work with a range of organisations to make the case for improvements to social care statistics. Specifically, our health and social care lead will liaise with you regarding progress towards these recommendations.
I am copying this letter to Sandra Tudor, Head of Profession for Statistics at MHCLG.
Deputy Director for Regulation
Report on Adult Social Care statistics in England (January 2020)
Response from NHS Digital on Adult Social Care in England (February 2020)