Advanced Care Research Centre

Blog - ACRC publishes its first briefing paper

‘Navigating blindfold in a blizzard: the invisibility of social care in routine data’

Posted on 16th September 2021


The Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC) will be sharing outputs and information on its research in a range of ways.

One way we will be sharing information is through a series of short briefing papers. The first of these briefing papers has been written by Prof. Bruce Guthrie

‘Navigating blindfold in a blizzard: the invisibility of social care in routine data’.


Adult social care is a key element of the health and social care system but care home residents and those receiving care-at-home are poorly represented in routine data. We were late to recognise and respond to the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 in care homes in large part because social care data is relatively poor and highly fragmented. This reflects a wider marginalisation of the social care sector, the people who work in it, and the people who use it. We need better social care data that can be linked to health and other data to improve our understanding of the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens. Better data and understanding are critical, but have to be used effectively to improve the quality, safety and experience of care in later life. Data is not a panacea, but good data and improved understanding are key building blocks in making social care better, and a necessity for health and social care integration.

The ACRC has multiple areas of work which will improve data infrastructure and extend our understanding of health and social care.


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The full briefing paper, and others in the series, are available in the publications section of the website.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised.


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