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Expert adult social care insight

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Good quality information about the adult social care workforce is vital to help improve the planning and quality of social care services, which will improve outcomes for people who use these services, both now and in the future.

We're confident in the quality of the estimates we provide. The methodologies we use have been reviewed by our university peers and an independent statistician.  

The data is analysed and weighted to produce and publish key publications including large scale national reports, locally focused reports, briefings and infographics. 

Open Data analysis files contain anonymised information on all social care organisations and locations held in the NMDS-SC system. This is stored as a .csv file and you can access this data here.

We publish new estimates each year using data from the NMDS-SC. They include size, structure and characteristics of the whole adult social care workforce. Current NMDS-SC data is as at March 2018 for the independent sector and September 2017 for local authorities.  

 

What you need to know

  • All NMDS-SC data has been created or updated within the last 2 years.
  • Over 90% of all establishments in the NMDS-SC updated their information in the past 12 months.
  • We've removed questionable data that has not been updated for a long period of time. 
  • Only pay data received or updated in the previous 12 months is included in pay dashboards.   

 

  • We use data collected by the NMDS-SC to create workforce models that, in turn, allow for estimates of the whole adult social care workforce to be produced.
  • The NMDS-SC, as a non-mandatory return for the independent sector, does not have 100% coverage of the adult social care sector.  However, it does have a large enough sample to provide a solid basis for creating reliable and precise adult social care sector and workforce estimates at both a national and local level.
  • Our methodology allows the analysis to be representative of all adult social care workers, even if the NMDS-SC has uneven levels of data coverage.  

The NMDS-SC collects in-depth information about the adult social care sector and workforce. It's structured into two parts:

The care service

  • CQC registration information
  • The types of care and support provided (43 options) e.g. dementia care, learning disabilities
  • Geographical location
  • Investors in people status
  • Job roles employed at the service (36 different types of job roles)
  • Main and other services provided, e.g. residential care with or without nursing or domiciliary care
    (59 service types in total)
  • Reasons for leaving and destinations of leavers
  • Starters, leavers and vacancy information

The workforce

  • Care Certificate, training and qualification information
  • Demographics e.g. gender, age, disability status, ethnicity and nationality
  • Employment information e.g. full/part time status, zero-hours contracts
  • Experience in sector and role, and source of recruitment
  • Pay rate

We then use data collected by the NMDS-SC to create workforce models that, in turn, allow us to produce estimates of the whole adult social care workforce. 

Approximately half of the workforce are recorded in the NMDS-SC, including data from over 20,000 care locations and on over 700,000 individual workers. This coverage varies by care service, job role and geographical area.

Local authorities (adult social services departments)

For the past six years NMDS-SC has been the only adult workforce data return for local authorities.

In 2017, for the sixth year in a row, all 152 local authorities in England have met the criteria of a full NMDS-SC return for people working in their adult social services departments. This means we hold data from every local authority with an adult social services department in England.

CQC regulated services

  • Skills for Care estimates that there were 41,000 care establishments providing or organising adult social care in England in 2016.  Around 25,250 of these services were CQC regulated.
  • At the end of March 2018, the NMDS-SC had 55% coverage of all CQC regulated social care establishments (13,900 out of 25,300).
  • These CQC regulated establishments had completed around 545,000 NMDS-SC worker records between them (out of a total population of around 1.1 million workers employed by CQC registered employers).
  • All data in the NMDS-SC has been updated or confirmed to be up-to-date within the last two years and 90% of employers updated their data in the past 12 months.
  • A sample of this size provides us with a solid basis for creating reliable and precise analyses about the regulated adult social care workforce at both a national and local level.
  • Every effort is made to ensure that information derived from the NMDS-SC is reliable.
  • All NMDS-SC data is validated at source and has been through rigorous data quality checks before analysis. 

NMDS-SC completion isn't mandatory for the independent sector so we don't have 100% coverage.

However, we do have a large enough sample to provide a solid basis for creating reliable and precise adult social care sector and workforce estimates at both a national and local level.

We use data collected by the NMDS-SC to create workforce models that, in turn, allow for estimates of the whole adult social care workforce to be produced.

A simplified explanation of how the information is produced is that Skills for Care use NMDS-SC data to make estimates of workforce characteristics (e.g. demographics, pay rates, employment statuses) for each geographical area, service type, employer type and job role combination that we report by.

These estimates are then ‘weighted’ according to NMDS-SC’s coverage/completeness of the sector in each of the above areas.

For example, an area with 50% coverage would use more weighted data in the final analysis than an area with 90% coverage. Using this methodology allows for the analysis to be representative of all adult social care workers even if the NMDS-SC has uneven levels of data coverage.

Skills for Care is confident in the quality of these estimates and the methodologies used have been peer reviewed by universities and an independent statistician.

The NMDS-SC includes data from over 20,000 care locations and over 700,000 individual workers. This information has gone through rigorous checking and data quality improvements before being included in the adult social care workforce estimates.

The data quality process includes:

  • Removing data that appears inaccurate or misleading, e.g. regulated professional roles with no recorded qualifications
  • Removing data that may be classed as a mistake or an outlier, e.g. very high or very low. 

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