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New service to gather social care data to shape government policy

Oonagh Smyth cropped

Skills for Care has launched a new service to enable social care providers to contribute key data and insights that will be used to shape future government policies.

Announcing the launch, the training charity said the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) is the leading source of workforce intelligence for the adult social care sector in England.

Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, the service first went live with its core functionality in 2019.

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Since then, Skills for Care’s Workforce Intelligence team has been working on adding more useful features to the service based on the feedback from the 20,000 social care employers already inputting their data.

Following this ongoing development work, Skills for Care is shining a light on the service with its official launch.

As part of this, the organisation has introduced a new Benefits Bundle, which provides social care employers who have an ASC-WDS account with access to a range of exclusive benefits and discounts.

ASC-WDS allows social care employers to manage team records, keep on top of training needs, and benchmark their service against other similar providers on metrics, including pay, sickness, turnover, and qualifications.  

Data gathered from the service will be used to create Skills for Care’s national workforce reports, which are used by the government, DHSC, local authorities and the Care Quality Commission to aid planning and shape policies and decisions about the sector, including decisions around the impacts of COVID-19, Brexit, and current recruitment challenges.

ASC-WDS users also gain access to training programmes, such as the ‘Rapid induction programme’, which supports new entrants into care to gain knowledge so that they’re ready to start work. 

Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth (pictured) commented: “Following our initial go-live two years ago we already have 20,000 employers using the service and providing us with valuable insights which are used to create our national reports and feed into key decisions and discussions among the Government, DHSC, and other key stakeholders.

“We are excited to now officially launch the service and we want to encourage more social care employers to sign up to share their insights. It also means they can make use of all of the practical benefits which the service offers to easily manage key workforce data, including staff records and training needs.

“Our new Benefits Bundle for our ASC-WDS users is just one small way of saying thank you to employers for the important intelligence that they share with the sector.”

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Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke