Representing your views

NCF is dedicated to representing and voicing member concerns to the decision makers. We ensure member interests are represented at all levels and are in constant contact with government departments, politicians and the media to ensure your message gets across.

“Together we have a stronger voice!”

Below is an indication of recent activity where we represent members at local, national and international levels. If you would like NCF assistance with a particular issue, please get in touch.

3 July 2019: Vic Rayner attended the All-Party Parliamentary Group meeting, which saw the launch of the APPG Adult Social Care report. See our press release

Liz Jones is a member of the CQC ASC Trade Association. 

Data and Care Homes: How do we use data to improve care?

So, how can we better use data to inform and improve care? Care homes, commissioners and regulators collect a lot of information about residents but there is currently no consistent approach to how this data is collected, handled or used. We, at the National Care Forum, think everyone would agree that this is a significant missed opportunity in the modern world where data and analytics drive innovation, evidenced-based practice and new strategies. In short, an effective use of data would be a game changer for the sector.

The answer, or more accurately, the path to an answer, will hopefully come from the DACHA Study: Developing research resources And minimum data set for Care Homes’ Adoption and use.

The University of Hertfordshire is leading this £2.2 million funded four-year study on behalf of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The guiding aim is to improve how researchers, health and social care services can use existing data to improve the care and quality of life for care home residents, families and staff. As such the project will look at the need to develop robust systems that support how all the different services and individuals (e.g. care staff, NHS professionals, family, regulators, social services) work together for residents’ benefit.

The study will also review how current health and social care systems work, what “good” looks like and explore the evidence on how to integrate data and test what a minimum dataset would require for all those working in and for care homes. The findings have the potential to deliver a step-change in how we understand the needs of the care home population and could be a resource that supports the provision of high-quality care across the country as well as improving residents’ quality of life.

This is where we come in! The National Care Forum is delighted to be part of DACHA, adding our social care expertise and care provider insight to the expertise already present on the project. The significance of this work is summed up in the words of our Policy Director, Liz Jones, who will be part of the project team and will represent the National Care Forum and the Care Provider Alliance, as well as both organisation’s members:
‘The potential prize of this project is enormous – looking at what data systems already exist and the data they hold about the vulnerable people we as a sector support, exploring how to better integrate and share that data, reaching an evidenced based consensus about what a minimum data set might look like for care homes and using it all to support and improve the quality of care we provide is a really exciting endeavour.’

The study started on 1st November 2019 and will bring together 12* other institutions, working collaboratively to develop reciprocal systems of working between the NHS and care homes that optimise current provision and research on its effectiveness.

We will keep you posted as the study progresses – and if you are invited to take part, please do so if you can!

* The other institutions taking part in the study are:

• National Institute of Health Research Applied Research Collaboration East of England
• University of Exeter
• University of Leeds
• University of Newcastle upon Tyne
• University of Kent
• University of East Anglia
• The University of Glasgow
• University of Nottingham
• University of Cambridge
• The Health Foundation
• The National Care Forum
• Volunteer Network Alzheimer’s Society.

Download in pdf format – Data and Care Homes – how do we use data to improve care