The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is planning a new digital product to give organisations in social care access to relevant data and analysis.
This comes after the department’s publication of a roadmap for improving data in adult social care
DHSC is aiming to begin a discovery phase by the end of April and have the product ready for launch next year.
It has published a market notice for support in the early stages, saying the project is aimed at enabling “appropriate and effective sharing of data across the adult social care sector”.
It points to the range of organisations currently collecting and publishing relevant data, including local authorities and the Care Quality Commission, and says that improving their access to data from each other will help them make better decisions.
It also cites the precedent of the Covid-19 Dashboard in combining data from health and social care.
Range of users
Users of the new product are expected to include officials in the DHSC itself, local authorities and social care providers, with health and care bodies, other departments and researchers as secondary users. The notice indicates that these will have different levels of data maturity.
The need for the resource had been earlier identified in DHSC’s Care Data Matters roadmap for data in adult social care, which also points to a lack of accessibility, timeliness and granularity of existing data.
A number of limitations in the current data landscape are highlighted, including gaps in the data collected, a lack of standardisation and harmonisation in how it is approached, and limited digitisation with only 50% or social care providers having digital care records.
The document lists a number of priorities including streamlining existing data collections, furthering digitisation in the sector, and extending the use of secondary data to generate better evidence.
The roadmap also points to the availability of the Digital Social Care Data Catalogue on standards to record, handle and exchange data.