Jul 20

Using ASC-WDS data to inform the COVID-19 debate

Posted: 7 July 2020

Programme Head for Analysis Dave Griffiths, looks at how our Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set has helped shape thinking during the pandemic and thanks everyone who has contributed their data.

‘Unprecedented’, ‘Challenging’, ‘Uncertain.’ These are a few words that have been used to describe the last three or four months in the adult social care sector.

And in amongst all the very critical and practical challenges of continuing to provide high quality care while sourcing PPE and dealing with staffing issues – there has been a need for data. Data to help understand the extent of the crisis, data to understand the scope and level of these issues and data to help plan a way forward.

One of the sources of intelligence that the Government, DHSC, local authorities and Skills for Care have relied upon is the data that adult social care providers enter into the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS). And despite the tidal wave of challenges experienced since early March, care providers have continued to provide vital insight via ASC-WDS.

Since 1 March 2020, the service has had over 3 million page views. You’ve uploaded over 25,000 new staff records and 250,000 new staff training records, while 600 new workplaces sent a request to register with the service.

In the first few weeks of the crisis, we were able to publish data on the 18,500 workers aged 70 or over in the workforce being asked to immediately isolate. The steady supply of data over the last few months has also shown that;

  • Absence levels tripled during the crisis with an estimated additional 3.4 million days lost during March, April and May.
  • The vacancy rate dropped from 8% to 6.5% between March and May (a mixed picture of increased rates of absence being nullified in some areas by an increase in the availability of workers from other sectors).

You can see our COVID-19 specific data outputs here.

In addition, our sector wide reports and figures have been widely used to answer questions from the Government including;

  • How many care workers are there?
  • How many people work in more than one workplace?
  • How many staff might the sector need in different scenarios?

We have even worked with Iceland supermarket to make codes available to care workers to access delivery slots.

Data from ASC-WDS is being used to represent the sector and workforce issues to the Health Select Committee. It’s also being used to represent the sector to the Migration Advisory Council, providing evidence on which care roles would be affected by different immigration rules.

So, this blog is a thank you to the 29,000 ASC-WDS account holders. It’s allowing Skills for Care to represent you with hard data and evidence. If you want to know more about the service and the benefits of using it, please visit our dedicated webpage.