Response to the Government consultation on information standards for health and social care in England

Response to the Government consultation on information standards for health and social care in England

The Department of Health and Social Care, on behalf of the government, ran a consultation between February and March on proposed changes to the way in which information standards will be defined, proposed and published. Digital Care Hub responded to this consultation after discussion with social care organisations and sector technology experts. This article summarises why this is important and our key messages in the consultation.

Information standards are important in social care because they determine how information is shared within the health and social care ecosystem. An information standard is defined by NHS England as “a document containing standards that relate to the processing of information”. A good example is the data set which care providers are required to complete within Capacity Tracker or the Professional Records Standards Body’s About Me standard. 

If data was shared in a consistent way that allowed information to flow seamlessly, it could reduce duplication and errors which would enable better care as information would be available as and when people need it. 

It could also mean that individuals would have easier access to their own data so that they can make better-informed decisions about their own care. 

As part of our response, we argue that representatives from health and social care organisations must be included as part of any board that make decisions about information standards. In social care, we stated that this should include representatives from the Care Provider Alliance, Digital Care Hub, Care Software Providers Association (CASPA) and the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB).  

We also recommend that the government considers capacity and cost ahead of preparing an information standard. It’s important that the sector remains competitive and innovative and if an information standard caused a barrier to market entry this could be threatened. 

It’s important to us that information standards are accompanied with implementation guidance as a way for people to access support and raise queries.  Once published, we would also expect that information on any consultation is shared along with reasoning for the development of the standard.  

We recently ran a webinar on the importance of information standards in social care in collaboration with NHS Transformation Directorate and the PRSB. If you missed it, you can watch a recording of ‘Navigating Digital Assurance for Social Care Providers’ on Vimeo.





Photo by Call Me Fred on Unsplash

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