Jul 18

Monitoring the performance of your service

Posted: 23 July 2018

Lee Stribling, Project Manager for NMDS-SC Implementation, looks at how registered managers can use their NMDS-SC account to monitor the performance of their service.

The National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) has been around for over 10 years and around 200 employers open an account every month – giving the Department for Health and Social Care a much better insight into adult social care. So much so that they’re investing in a makeover of the service.

Now seems a good time to talk about how the NMDS-SC can support managers in keeping an eye on the important things happening in their workforce - providing they have an up-to-date account of course.

I’ve had many conversations over the years with registered managers who want to understand how they can use their NMDS-SC account to monitor the performance of their service. In these chats I’m told they want to be able to see information quickly and easily so they can understand where their service is performing well (or not) to identify what they need to do next. In this blog I hope to explain some of the simple ways to help you get this overview.

Management information at a glance

The beauty of logging into your NMDS-SC account is that you can immediately see key information about your turnover, sickness and vacancy rates.  Take a look at this mock account I’ve created for the purpose of this blog.

If I was managing this service, I’d be really concerned about:

  • my turnover rate being much higher than the sector average – mine’s 21%, the sector average (benchmark) is 12.9%
  • my sickness rates being higher than average – mine is 4.5 lost days and the sector average is 3.6 days a year
  • losing staff – my vacancy rate is much higher than the sector’s average of 2.8%, it’s a  whopping 29.7%

So what now?

You need to be able to evidence to CQC that there are sufficient numbers of suitable staff to support people to stay safe and meet their needs, and that the staff have the right skills and training to do their jobs. 

The role of the NMDS-SC is to show trends, strengths and weaknesses in your workforce data. Once you’ve seen the diagnosis, the recruitment area of the Skills for Care website provides a wealth of resources and support to help tackle recruitment and retention issues thrown up by the data and this is where you can use them both together in your business.

If you click on ‘More info >show’ on the right of the screen (the picture above, where the blue arrow is, you can drill down into the detail. 

Let’s take a look at turnover – which job roles have the highest turnover rate in our example?


Turnover in this example is showing this establishment’s turnover of care workers is over 26% and the average is just over 14% - so in the example it’s much higher than normal. The recent Secrets of Success infographic summarises what 140 employers with low turnover rates (less than 10%) do to keep their staff.  Take a look and see if you can get some ideas.

Pay rates

One of the most useful reports that registered managers are always interested to look at is the one on pay rates. It’s always good to have a nosey at what others are paying their staff – particularly those with no retention issues. You can access this report when you go into your dashboards – you’ll need to be logged in to see your information and to be able to compare your pay rates with the rest of the sector. Once you’re logged in, click on dashboards > my NMDS-SC Dashboards, and then you’ll see this screen:


If you click on ‘show’ on the right hand side of any of the dashboards, they open up to show you all the data you can look at – what you see above is the headings relating to each section, there are lots of different things you can look at under each heading.. 

You can then follow the process I described before, to look at the detail of your pay rates, or any of the other data available on the dashboards and also see how you compare to the rest of the sector.

There’s plenty of help in the dashboards and we’ve tried to link them to as many useful resources on our website as possible, without overwhelming you. As with anything - the more you put into your account, the more you get out of it.

There are other handy reports – for example ‘my training and qualifications report’ where, using the traffic light system, you can easily see which staff are due to have refresher training or where their training has expired.

Why not log into your NMDS-SC account, and take a look at your ‘Management information at a glance’ and see what that tells you?

If you don’t already have an NMDS-SC account, find out more by visiting www.nmds-sc-online.org.uk.

Don’t forget that having an account means you’re eligible for applying to access money towards training your staff. Find out more about our Workforce Development Fund.