Qualitative Evaluation of the Strengthening Social Care Analytics Programme

National attention was directed towards the challenges faced by people who used, commissioned or delivered social care services during the Covid-19 pandemic. A number of cases exemplifying the need for better data analytics in the sector arose in 2020 and 2021, linked to a lack of detailed, actionable and accessible social care data, which limited the ability of social care providers to effectively respond to the pandemic.

Within this context, the Health Foundation launched the Strengthening Social Care Analytics Programme in 2021. The programme provided funding and support to five exemplar projects to help the social care sector respond to the pandemic and its aftermath. The projects aimed to demonstrate how data analytics can be used to improve social care and help to catalyse further change in the social care data analytics system, by sharing findings and methods within a community of practice. Each project received up to £60k over one year to support their work.

SQW was commissioned by the Health Foundation in summer 2021 to deliver a qualitative evaluation of the Strengthening Social Care Analytics Programme. The evaluation aimed to understand whether (and how) The Health Foundation funding supported project teams to improve the use of data analytics within social care.

The evaluation found that the programme supported social care providers and commissioners to develop the knowledge, understanding and tools with which they can tackle some of the challenges affecting the social care sector. This has resulted in increased capabilities in the sector, and real-time benefits for those involved (in addition to emerging benefits for those delivering and/or in receipt of care). Projects developed a range of analytical approaches for testing, illustrating real potential for the sector to use data analytics more widely.

You can read the full evaluation report here. An accompanying blog, written by Ellen Coughlan (Programme Manager at the Health Foundation) can be found here.

If you would like to know more about SQW’s evaluation of the Strengthening Social Care Analytics programme, please contact Lauren Roberts, SQW Director, via lroberts@sqw.co.uk.

If you are interested in learning more about the Health Foundation’s work in this area, please visit the website.