Facilitating Care Insight to Develop Caring Economies
Future Care Capital (FCC) has worked in partnership with Cambridge Econometrics, a leader in data analysis and economic modelling, to explore the risks and opportunities different parts of the country face in planning and managing adult social care provision. Four local authorities worked with the charity to discuss the particular challenges they are grappling with at the local level: Brighton and Hove City Council, Essex County Council, Leeds City Council and Nottingham City Council.
The research found that local areas are underpinned by different ‘care infrastructures’ that result in broad-ranging challenges as well as opportunities to transform outcomes for individuals. National social care policy needs to better acknowledge local differences if it is to result in tangible improvements to the quality of life people experience. Meanwhile, councils need a much better understanding of when and how people interact with the wider care ecosystem if they are to meet the future needs of the populations they serve – notwithstanding the challenge of assembling data and evidence for contemporary, person-centred approaches.
FCC makes a number of recommendations that are designed to help tackle the difficulties councils face in preparing to provide adult social care services in the future:
- The Government should publish an impact assessment with its forthcoming adult social care green paper detailing the implications of any proposals to raise new funds for adult social care and/or alter local government funding formulae for different parts of the country – both in the interests of transparency and to better support social care commissioners and providers to plan ahead.
- The Government should explore, as a matter of urgency, how it might incentivise investment by the public and private sectors but, also, communities and individuals in a range of measures, products and services designed to facilitate prevention, healthy ageing and independent living.
- The Government should support commissioners, providers and innovators to solicit a much better understanding of when and how individuals interact with the wider care ecosystem than is currently possible using the traditional data collection methods from which standard ‘monitoring’ data is derived.
- The Government should invest in a new national data analytic capability to improve care insight for commissioners, providers and business and, thereby, support the appraisal as well as product/service design activities needed to expedite the introduction of new care models.
- The ONS should improve upon the data it collects, curates and publishes where it impacts upon care insight to better enable others to plan and develop caring economies; in particular, it should ensure that changes to the census result in improvements to data about unpaid carers and internal migration amongst different age cohorts.
- The CQC should require and provide access to improved data concerning self-funders – whether they are in receipt of domiciliary or residential care services – to better facilitate care insight for commissioners, providers and business.
- The range of Government departments should be required to publish details of the ways in which their policies and investment decisions align with and/or contribute to the development of caring economies to ensure that they are designed to positively impact local care infrastructures.
- The Government and pertinent funding councils should invest in partnerships between councils, universities and business to explore the potential for new technologies and data science techniques – including machine learning and artificial intelligence – to support the evolution of next generation care services and insight.