Norfolk and Suffolk Care Support Ltd and Norfolk County Council

SFC-Winners-2015-020 Julie Hesmondhalgh presents Christine and colleagues with their Accolade Award for Best Use of Workforce Intelligence in London.

Norfolk County Council employs 165 teams and 3,210 staff to support the delivery of adult social care.   

N&CS is a not-for-profit organisation offering impartial information, advice and guidance to the care sector and are a lead contractor for the Workforce Development Fund . They have both been using NMDS-SC since 2012. 

Their HR teams work together in Norfolk to fund and manage the social care workforce.  Because of this close partnership working, they decided to enter the Skills for Care Accolades together.

They went onto win ‘best use of workforce intelligence’ category in the Skills for Care Accolades Awards because of their combined HR work with data and information in Norfolk to support the adult social care workforce.  We interviewed Christine Futter, Chief Operating Officer, about their work using NMDS-SC.

The best features of NMDS-SC from our perspective

  • The NMDS-SC is a very useful tool for completion of the Provider Information Return PIR Section 5).
  • It’s a tool to analyse our workforce. It gives us information on which to base decisions so we can develop a workforce to meet the demands of our local services. 


We pass workforce intelligence information to the Norfolk Strategic Workforce Group (NSWG) which meets bi-monthly to identify priorities for workforce development in the region. The group consists of representatives from a wide range of stakeholders from the health and social care statutory, voluntary and independent agencies.

We use the NMDS-SC in tandem with another system called ‘Insight’, which is a local data and information website.  This gives us a more indepth and bespoke picture of the local workforce.

At Norfolk County Council we use the bulk upload facility (BUDI) which allows us to quickly and efficiently provide all our workforce information on behalf of all our establishments, without the need for manual data entry.

We use a combination of NMDS-SC dashboards, bespoke data analysis and our own Norfolk market intelligence to gain a better understanding of local area workforce profiles.

We work together and use data analysis reports to find out the profile of the local workforce and population and those figures help us allocate and distribute our resources.  Having the right workforce information allowed us to commission a wide number of projects and initiatives such as:

  • ‘Involving People – make a difference to your service,’ pilot project with Equal Lives
  • the Norfolk Brokerage - an impartial information, advice and guidance resource linked to the Care Certificate
  • a recruitment pilot with Jobcentre Plus which identified barriers that prevent effective recruitment
  • the development of dementia coaches from the existing workforce to be trained as mentors for dementia training and development in the Norfolk care sector
  • producing information on the sector which has been used for PowerPoint presentations to encourage new staff into the sector from schools, colleges, careers events and jobs fairs.
  • Share your local NMDS-SC data with stakeholders and discuss the trends and themes from the data to enable you to identify priority areas for your workforce development, in terms of maintenance, development and/or innovation.
  • Work in partnership with health to compare workforce data and how the health and social care workforce can be developed both separately and together to support an integrated service for the future.

Yes - we would recommend NMDS-SC.  It provides access to workforce information, and a sound basis on which to analyse both an employer’s needs and wider local and county strategic needs, which can be used for decision making.

It also offers access to funding that supports accredited learning and development that assists employers to support the continuing professional development of the sector. These funds can be used to develop a quality workforce.

NMDS-SC is an important and useful resource to help us understand the size and structure of the local workforce. It provides data for an evidence based approach to allocating resources and funding to projects and initiatives. We find it an integral tool for effective workforce planning.