Using the national minimum data set for social care

The nature of social care is changing with increasing numbers of people employing their own care and support staff through direct payments from local authorities or other sources of funding.

The National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) is the leading source of key workforce intelligence for adult social care. To try to accurately reflect the changing nature of the workforce, Skills for Care developed a new module within NMDS-SC in co-production with people who employ their own care and support staff.

Skills for Care worked in partnership with Salford City Council and an arms-length direct payments support group, SUGGEST – to gather NMDS-SC data from 88 people who employ their own care & support staff. Project workers from both SUGGEST and Salford adult services introduced NMDS-SC to the direct employers, who employ a growing workforce about whom little is known in terms of numbers, qualifications and other characteristics. They explained that having access to this information is useful for their support organisations, e.g SUGGEST and the local Authority, to help them with workforce planning and development.

There are now nearly 400 Direct Employers registered with NMDS-SC, which is expected to reach over a 1,000 by March 2013, and is a significant source of information about a growing and increasingly important part of the social care workforce.

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