Home / Resources & Guidance / Data Saves Lives Implementation Update – Care England overview

Following the publication of Data Saves Lives in June 2022 NHS Transformation Directorate (NHS-TD), has provided an update on the progress made. As an overview of Data Saves Lives, the strategy was set to outline a vision of how data will transform health and social care in four strategic areas:

  • improving patient and service users experience and access
  • getting the right systems in place
  • supporting staff and boosting efficiency
  • commitments specifically targeting adult social care

This brief provides an overview of where the data strategy is at, the impact it has had on adult social care and what we can expect in the years to come.

As part of the next steps, NHS-TD are interested to hear the views of the sector specifically on the following:

  1. We want to know how we can better support you to implement the vision set out in the Data Strategy.
  2. We’re also interested in whether there is anything else, that isn’t covered in the strategy, that you think would be helpful in achieving this vision.


Commitments specifically targeting adult social care

NHS-TD has outlined a specific section that focuses on its commitments to digital transformation within the adult social care sector.

Improving national data collections and bridging data gaps
From 1 April 2023 the CLD collection became mandatory for all local authorities and will replace the Short and Long-Term (SALT) collection, with SALT ceasing from 2024/25 onwards. This will bring social care collections more in line with person level NHS collections.

NHS-TD further outline that they are working with the sector, including the CQC, to establish a minimum dataset that will reduce the burden of reporting on providers. Care England is involved within these discussions.

Improving data access and insights
In February 2023, NHS-TD launched the first phase of updates to the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) following engagement with the sector. This aims to maximise ASCOF’s value at local, regional and national levels in monitoring the outcomes that matter most to people.

Adult Social Care sector digitisation and standards
NHS-TD is still committed to reach the target of implementing digital social care records (DCSRs) within 80% of the sector by March 2024. To date, three of the assured DSCR solutions have successfully enabled access to GP record information for more than 3,000 staff across more than 1,000 providers.


Improving experience and access for patients and people

This section provides an update on how NHS-TD and DHSC has continued to develop greater access between the public and their access to their own health and care data.

Shared Care Records (SCR)
Shared care records allow the sharing of information across health and social care boundaries. All 42 Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) have now implemented a basic shared care record in place. Over the next few years, NHS-TD will seek to improve SCRs to improve overall functionality with the target of meeting the patient access by December 2025. Social care will of course become further intertwined within the SCRs as the strategy develops.

National Data Opt-Out
NHS-TD is considering how public trust with the NHS holding their data and be used to address health inequalities can be further strengthened and thereby a reduction in the number of individuals who are withdrawing from the opt-out. The opt-out will be a priority topic for discussion with the public in NHS-TD’s large-scale public engagement events, planned for later this year.


Getting the right systems in place

This section provides an update on the potential of data within the health and social care system and how it can be unlocked if the right infrastructure is in place.

Federated Data Platform (FDP)
The FDP is the centre piece that will underpin the data infrastructure within the health and social care system. The aim is for the FDP to be a vehicle to initiate a more connected and more efficient system, and ultimately means a better service for patients / service users. The FDP will impact social care as it will seek to:

  • connect teams and organisations that need to work together to provide patient care
  • help local teams better prioritise waiting lists, manage theatre capacity and identify their staffing needs
  • help local health and care teams to understand the health of their local populations, and what services might best support them

Secure Data Environments
Secure Data Environments relates to the commitment to move to a system of ‘data access as default’ for the secondary uses of NHS data (for example research and external uses) is changing how NHS data is made available. A secure data environment will help provide better security and access to health and care data. In September 2022, NHS-TD published 12 policy guidelines for Secure Data Environments, which set out the principles that organisations providing access to NHS and social care data for secondary uses will need to adhere to.

NHS-TD outline that the move to data access for health and social care data is a change that will bring benefits to researchers, patients, industry and wider society. NHS-TD remains committed to ensure that the highest standards of privacy and security are being met with the development of Secure Data Environments.

Data Architecture
Data Architecture focuses on simplifying the national data architecture to help those in the system have a clear understanding of how to access the data. NHS-TD will be working closely with Integrated Care Boards to establish and implement this target architecture. A big part of architecture is standards and interoperability which will of course impact adult social care as the sector becomes further digitised.

Work that has been completed in this area includes: the publication of the digital playbooks, a series of different examples demonstrating how open-source approaches to code, community, governance and documentation. Further work being completed is through the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, currently before Parliament, to further improve the interoperability of IT products and services used in connection with the provision of health and adult social care.


Supporting staff and boosting efficiency

This section focuses on how the strategy is progressing to helping staff who work in the system to feel more confident and empowered when using health and care data.

Information governance
IG is important to establishing commonality across a system in their efforts to understanding the correct measures and procedures when facilitating and navigating digital and data. Within adult social care, NHS-TD has achieved its commitment to triple the number of adult social care providers completing the Data Security and Protection Toolkit to at least ‘approaching standards’ status (58%).

The publication of the Health and Social Care Cyber Security strategy helped provide a long term plan for the health and social care sector to improve the protection of digital systems and data.

Louis Sign Off