Jul 16

How the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) helps Local Government

Posted: 6 July 2016

All 152 local authorities in England are busy preparing their annual Local Authority Workforce Return on behalf of the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Skills for Care is commissioned to carry out that return through our National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) and the report published by HSCIC on the local authority social services workforce has National Statistics status.

Every local authority has completed their return for the past four years and we felt it was a good time to look at the different ways the data can be used so councils can also benefit from their hard work collecting the information.

But we’re aware that the people who complete the return aren’t always the people who will ultimately use the data. So service commissioners, workforce planners and quality monitoring officers may not even know how this data is captured. They may also be totally unaware of all the information at their fingertips on their NMDS-SC dashboards, which allow them to access aggregated data from across England via the Open Access dashboards.

To help us understand how local authorities use their NMDS-SC data to support more efficient and effective working in these tough financial times, we talked to two staff at Norfolk and Surrey councils.  Norfolk told us how using NMDS-SC data refreshed their Market Position Statement and informed a plan for their LEP Skills Board, and Surrey reflected on how they used the data to analyse workforce information.

Both case studies demonstrate how local authorities are using NMDS-SC data for:

  • service commissioning including local authority Market Position Statements
  • strategic planning
  • quality assurance
  • maximising the effective and efficient use of their resources
  • workforce planning
  • Local Enterprise Partnership sector skills plans.

Local authorities who want to find out more about the different ways they can use NMDS-SC to maximise their own efficiency and effectiveness should contact their Skills for Care locality manager.