Skills for Care

How our workforce data is informing decisions for #IntegratedCare

10 Jul 2024

3 min read

Skills for Care

  • Workforce development
  • Integration

We discuss the vital nature of workforce data in supporting the health and social care integration agenda.

We know that having accurate and reliable data about the makeup and profile of the adult social care sector is important. This is true for all of the integrated care systems working across health and social care. Understanding what is going on both nationally and at a local level - on things like the average pay for different job roles or the number of workers due to retire over the coming years - is vital for effective workforce planning.

It also means that data can be combined with those from the health sector, to see where trends or patterns are emerging. This can lead to better decisions being made about planning for any skills gaps and determining how to work in the interest of the system as whole.

Skills for Care is the leading source of workforce intelligence for adult social care. We produce reports and data visualisations about the size and makeup of the sector nationally and at a local level, including at integrated care board level.

People using our data with integrated care systems tell us why they find it so important. We hear about how it is useful as it allows them to plan for integrated services across both health and social care. George Matuska is a Learning Disability and Autism Lead at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust. He told us how:

working both regionally and nationally, the Skills for Care data has provided insights into health roles working outside of NHS settings...this has been invaluable.

Similarly, Alice McGee, a Chief People Officer at Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland ICB explains that having access to data across health and social care is vital for creating a sense of parity across the whole system. She told us that:

as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, understanding the equivalent workforce data is enabling us to set priorities across health and social care for long term workforce sustainability. The data allows us to consider biggest impacts for all employers across LLR.

Others make the point that access to good quality data is a fundamental part of joint workforce planning. Lucy Purdy, a Workforce Programme Lead at NHS Frimley ICB focuses on the benefits of data for the collaborative element of workforce planning. For her:

the work that Skills for Care do contributes significantly to our ability to develop strategic workforce plans for our integrated care system. It helps us to collaborate on the most impactful interventions.

For Catherine Jackson, a Head of Workforce Transformation at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Integrated Care Board, having a ‘helicopter’ view of the workforce in her area is what is most valuable. 

This data is massively important for us as we build workforce dashboards that represent our health and social care sectors. It is also allowing us to start to build place-based dashboards to support our neighbourhood work. Adult social care makes up almost 50% of our BLMK Health and Social Care workforce and without the Skills for Care data, we would not have the data insights that we do.

For some, just having an evidence-based source of information to describe the adult social care sector is what is important. Denise Horton is an ICS Retention Lead at NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICB. She described the data source as useful because:

it provides me with information I would not otherwise have and helps me to understand the challenges that social care providers have with workforce.

Keep an eye out for our latest 'The size and structure of the adult social care workforce in England' report to be published later this month and explore the data local to you.

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