Standard in action: What’s next for social care? 

NHSX aims to ensure standards are fit for purpose and widely adopted so that health and care information can be shared digitally across systems to support better care. PRSB has been asked to support the strategy to drive this work forward and we are having a rich and stimulating series of discussions with professionals and people who use services about their ideas for improvement.  

The work is being carried out in three phases and the first two are nearing completion – to develop a list of existing standards for social care that should be adopted by system suppliers and identify what social care standards are needed. PRSB is also supporting work to review the maturity of digital information sharing and recommend how further progress can be made and measured.   

The first phases of work identified priorities for implementation, as well as gaps in standards. The key areas people felt were important included having the right information at transfer of care, information feeding into wider shared records and About Me, the personal information that is most important to an individual. Other important gaps that people highlighted included the information that’s digitally available about a person living in a care home, day to day recordings of medications and making sure that existing standards can be adapted for use in social care. 

This work is being followed by a series of consultation events, now taking place, that are informing NHSX’s strategy for standards and interoperability. The aim of the events is to consider and recommend how we build on standards and interoperability successes to date to improve outcomes. This includes ensuring we have one clear approach to standards that includes how they will be adopted, their success measured. 

Feedback so far is fascinating with participants citing the need to set clear priorities, work closely with strategic programmes and specialist interests, bring clarity to procurement and support adoption nationally and locally. 

We are holding a series of interactive sessions with colleagues from the NHS, Department of Health and Social Care, our Advisory Board members, providers, vendors and public representatives as well as having several individual interviews. The outputs of this work will form a set of recommendations to a round table of senior system leaders in April that will produce actionable findings to drive forward NHSX’s strategy for standards and interoperability.  

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