Care and support data standards: almost here

By Rob Wray, Chief Innovation Officer, HACT - on 21/06/2019

On 24 June, the Care and Support Data Standards will be signed off by the housing provider working group before going out to public consultation.

You can get a sneak preview by downloading a copy of the implementation business case for the care and support standards here: 


The working group who developed these care and support data standards included ourselves, OSCRE, who are the acknowledged experts in the development of data standards, and eleven housing association partners from the Greater Manchester region: Arawak Walton, Bolton at Home, ForViva, Great Places Housing, Irwell Valley, Jigsaw Homes, MSV, Northwards, One Manchester, Trafford Housing Trust and Wythenshawe Community Housing.

Over the last six months, we’ve hosted 13 meetings with representatives from each of the housing associations. Some of those representatives have been technical specialists, from Business Intelligence Managers to a Head of IT. Others have brought their expertise from working on frontline services, such as Tenancy Support and Sustainment Managers and a Safeguarding and Support Quality Officer.

We started our discussions by looking at the potential business benefits for developing the care and support data standards – and returned to these at the end of the project. But more of that later.

We then focused on developing a process map that describes the case management used in care and support. This was developed collectively, with partners speaking with internal colleagues at the delivery level, so they could sense check the final version.

You can see it here.

The process map contextualises where each use case fits into the flow of work that partner housing associations do for each care and support case.

Each use case (highlighted as a red circle with a number) relates to a point where the organisation is using or moving data. Take the example of numbers 1 and 2 use cases: these relate to inbound (1) and outbound (2) referrals. They occur a number of times across the process because there are multiple places in the overall care and support process where these referrals might be made. It might be that a referral starts a case. Or it could be that a referral happens to deliver an intervention.

Once the use cases had been established the group got to work on modelling the associated entities, attributes and their relationships. This is a time-consuming and rigorous process that draws on many areas of expertise from the business, with a need to understand the strategic view: what data do we need and why it matched with on the ground perspective, as well as this is how we work now and what we are able to collect.

With the data modelling completed, we returned to the business benefits of implementing the care and support data standards. These are numerous, and you can read about them all in the implementation business case presentation.

To focus on just three of them, one of the most critical benefits of implementing the care and support data standards is that it will result in consistent and shareable customer data across the care and support process. Starting with the initial referral or support request, all customer information will be collected consistently, so it can be used throughout the process and with external partners without the need for rekeying, transcription, translation, interpretation or other steps, all of which can be a source of errors.

Secondly, the ability to define and measure consistently collated metrics will improve understanding of performance and help organisations to deliver more effective services to their care and support service users. It will also enable the sharing and adoption of best practices across the wider social housing sector, so that an innovative, new approach tested by one provider can be easily implemented by another provider.

Finally, by implementing the care and support data standards, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you are meeting the requirements of GDPR. Service providers will be able to specify explicitly what information they require in order to process a referral. Without the data standards the danger is that you inadvertently provide information that you hold, but that isn’t required by the service providers, which results in you being in breach of data protection legislation.

Now the care and support data standards are completed, each member of the working group has pledged to implement and data standards within their own care and support service. We are also working with housing providers, their service delivery partners, and the GMCA to test the most effective means of implementation. We are currently liaising with a number of partners who can trial each use case. With these demonstrations we hope to produce further evidence to support the business case for implementing the care and support data standards and scale uptake across the GM region and beyond. If you’d be interested in getting involved in one of these trials, please contact me.

HACT are here to help you understand where the UK Housing Data Standards can support your current care and support work and your transformation agenda. We can work with you to identify processes that might benefit from using the Standards and show you how you can insert them as part of your ongoing project or change work. Get in touch if you would like to find out more.

On 16 July, we’re holding a free event in London where you can find out how to implement the data standards, start conversations with the software companies working with the sector to build products and services using the data standards, and have a chat with us about how we can help you embed data standards into your digital change programmes. Book your ticket 

If you’re interested in getting involved in developing data standards around income collection, development handovers, or complaints and customer satisfaction, please contact Jay Saggar.

Data Standard

Add new comment