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Transforming The Quality Of Care In Care Homes Through Better Use Of Data

A British Geriatrics Society report makes key recommendations for the effective use of a national minimum dataset to deliver the best possible care in UK care homes and domiciliary care.

The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) hosted an event to discuss ideas and best practice around a minimum dataset for care homes. Health and social care practitioners, academics, system leaders and policymakers came together to consider how the collection and use of data could help to inform better care.

The BGS report reveals:

  • Smarter data, better care: Empowering care homes to use data to transform quality of care’ sets out the barriers to and opportunities for collecting standardised care data. It contains insights from the National Institute of Health Research DACHA studyand from interRAI as well as from other national and international studies using social care data. It summarises the accumulated experience of several research and data teams and reflects on the “state of the art” in minimum datasets.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic gave new impetus to transforming how social care data is collected, shared and used. There is a genuine appetite across the health and care sector to support those providing, receiving and commissioning care through better use of data.

In the report, the BGS makes 12 recommendations for policymakers and regulators to consider. This includes ensuring a national minimum dataset is genuinely a resource for better care, by ensuring that its format, content and method of implementation are meaningful and useful for people living in care homes and those caring for them.

Professor Adam Gordon, President of the British Geriatrics Society, said:

The troubling revelations from recent hearings at the COVID inquiry remind us how little policymakers and healthcare leaders knew about care homes at the beginning of 2020. This was, in part, due to a lack of data. We must never be in a situation again where we are asked to make life or death decisions about the most vulnerable members of our society without the data to do so. Data also has an important role to play in delivering the best care day-to-day. With this in mind, I’m delighted that the BGS is publishing this report. We hope that this helps give policymakers impetus towards commissioning a minimum dataset in long term care homes that is robust enough to inform care decisions. It is essential that they do so with urgency.”











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