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Data, intelligence, and innovations.

by Rob Hargreaves – Skills for Care

When driving forward new ways of working, having access to the latest data, and keeping informed of the latest innovations is key.  Skills for Care publishes workforce intelligence and insight to support your service to evolve.

Each year over 20,000 adult social care providers in England update the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS). The use of this service helps these services to benchmark themselves with other providers, as well as potentially accessing funding to support staff development.

The data from the use of ASC-WDS has multiple benefits for our sector, including providing robust intelligence to help providers plan for change.  Whether you are drawing on data to inform new recruitment initiatives, convince investors of changes in terms of pay and conditions or better understand the market when expanding the business, all of the information is free to access from the Skills for Care website.

This powerful data is updated every year with the latest information due to published around the size and structure of our sector in in the next few weeks, followed by State of the Workforce in September 2021. 

Traditionally this data has been shared via formal reports, but we are increasingly introducing more interactive online reporting enabling providers to explore your own areas of interest and filter accordingly.  We will continue to alert you to the headline messages, but the dashboard reporting will enable you to delve deeper into different types of workplaces, workforce, trends, and forecast. Do we want to link to an actual data visualisation here as it just links to a page?

Data can be viewed at a national, regional, and local level so regardless of the size of your service or number of locations, you will have insight into local comparisons and the national picture of adult social care.  This can help you to understand growth and future demand.

Whilst the data can be drawn upon to influence the changes you want to introduce; Skills for Care is also keen to shine a spotlight on the latest innovations and best practice. 

We regularly share blogs showcasing successful new approaches and other innovations in our newsletter and member updates, as well as incorporating these across our website and associated guidance. 

Skills for Care has previously funded innovation projects and although that is not something we currently do, many of the applications we received reflected what other services were already doing. 

Therefore, we believe one of the most important factors that will drive forward innovation is the building upon existing ideas and finding what works best for the people you support.  By connecting with other services and external partners, you can draw on previous insight into what works, what doesn’t work and how existing ideas can be adapted and evolved further to suit your service.

Of course, there will always be room for entirely new ideas and innovations in adult social care but opportunities to take previous learning – supported by the latest data and insight – into exciting new directions.

If you want to share your own innovations, please let me know: rob.hargreaves@skillsforcare.org.uk

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