Today, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) has published its findings from an in-depth 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, 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. The need for information is increasing as society evolves and the demands on social care services over coming years look set to increase. Improved data matters in solving problems, supporting efficiency and maximising outcomes. It is also important to inform decisions made by individuals about the care they receive or provide for themselves and their families.
Our review highlighted three main areas for attention:
- Better leadership and collaboration across the many different organisations involved in the process of publishing official statistics on social care, that enables working across boundaries to join-up government departments, local authorities and between public and private sector providers;
- Gaps in available data as most information available comes from local authorities with responsibilities for adult social services and does not cover private household expenditure, privately funded care or the value of unpaid care causing limited knowledge of individuals care journeys and outcomes; and
- Improving existing official statistics through accessibility, coherence, quality, timeliness and granularity of the data to provide insight and allow existing data to better meet user needs.
Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation said:
“Data matters in solving problems, supporting efficiency and improving outcomes and we want to see stronger leadership and collaboration across government to enable better data on adult social care.
“I am responsible for regulating data across economics, employment, health and more and it is social care that stands out by far for its low quality or even absent data. We need parity of measurement to have parity of policy. This is particularly significant when comparing social care to the data rich health system”.