CASPA members are leading the effort to collect data from their care management software systems that will be used by the NHS to drive research and pandemic planning efforts. The suppliers are providing real-time, anonymised data on the COVID-19 status of both care givers and care receivers directly from their systems.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an urgent demand for accurate and timely social care data. CASPA members, social care software providers, have responded quickly by building additional data sets into the existing workflows of their systems meaning they are able to deliver the current COVID-19 status of caregivers and care receivers. As well as COVID-19 status, additional data including demographics of care receivers, type of care given and location will enable the NHS to identify current and historical trends at a national level. This data will greatly support the forecasting and planning of future waves of the virus whilst also improving the quality of care given. Six monthly reviews of the initiative will take place to align the efforts with the current climate and will run until 31 March 2022. 

The collection of the data is anonymous and the research gathered will be used solely for the purpose of pandemic planning and research by the NHS. CASPA software providers are able to deliver this important data without personal identifiers, ensuring the privacy of care givers and care providers and access of such data is restricted only to the organisations delivering social care and a sector wide board who will oversee the data collection and its analysis.

James Palmer, Programme Head for Social Care at NHS Digital, said: “This collection will provide controlled access to a range of existing data to support service planning, outcome monitoring and research during the coronavirus pandemic.  

“It could save lives if there is a second wave of coronavirus by showing trends in social care at a national and local level. We have been working closely with colleagues across the sector and will be sharing data in a managed way initially but with a view to opening it up more widely in the future.” 

Robin Wells, Membership Secretary for the Care Software Providers Association (CASPA), said: “The availability of timely and accurate data is crucial to planning for any further COVID-19 waves. Many of our members’ digital care management systems collect this data on a real-time basis, thereby providing a rich source of anonymised data which is essential to accurate planning and saving lives. In a sector dominated by paper-based systems the value of this data collection clearly demonstrates the important contribution that digital systems can bring to improving the overall quality of social care. 

Ian Turner, Chief Executive of the Registered Nursing Home Association RNHA) said: “This collection is an important opportunity to use anonymised data which is routinely collected by care providers to support research during Covid-19. By using this data to help to predict future waves of this pandemic, we can better support the social care sector and people receiving care.” 

CASPA is a UK based independent, not-for-profit association representing the views and interests of social care software providers. The association promotes the continued growth of the use of digital technologies, and thus the transparency of care being provided, within the social care sector. CASPA seeks to improve the flow of digital information between social care and other parties, in particular, the NHS. CASPA strives to influence legislation and regulatory guidelines within the industry and promote standards where such standards do not currently exist. 

For further information on membership and CASPA, please visit: caspa.care