What are the causes and impact of poor data to support response & recovery?
Covid-19 continues to have a profound impact on people receiving care, their families, their carers and everyone involved in providing care. By June 2020, there were 30,000 more deaths among care home residents than would normally be expected with a further 4,500 deaths reported in domiciliary care.
The sector is highly complex and fragmented with around 18,500 organisations working in 39,000 locations. There is pressure to reform with long term structural issues caused by funding pressures, a low paid workforce and providers concerned about the sustainability of their service. Pandemic relief funding has also been inconsistent.
Little is known about sector performance with basic data informing responses at a local, regional and national level. The Adult Social Care Survey provides local, regional and national visibility of care outcomes annually - 6 months after year end. Care provider performance reporting to commissioners is infrequent, inconsistent and focused on provider outputs rather than outcomes. There is little evidence that the data is used by funders despite the effort to submit 10,000+ spreadsheet templates per month.
Is it a consequence of poor data that social care received little attention in England until June when the impact of patient transfers to care homes received national attention?
One positive is that many social care providers have or are adopting digital platforms to manage care to enable more effective care delivery.