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Outcome: Social care practice and policy that is underpinned by innovation, high-quality research, data and other forms of evidence

An overview of our progress against this outcome three during 2021 to 2022.

Why it’s important

The priorities from the Social care research and development strategy give Wales a unique opportunity to help improve people’s well-being by applying evidence-based policy, practice and service models that have a focus on prevention and early intervention.

We’ll continue to lead the national data strategy, social care data set and the National Social Care Research Strategy. We’ll also work closely with Health and Care Research Wales to support research communities of practice, career development, innovative practice and sharing evidence-based practice through the training agenda.

The social care sector may not currently be making the best use of advances in technology to help with innovative ways of doing things, including learning. The same applies to the use of data and evidence to improve practice.

By evidence-enriched practice, we mean that decisions about how to provide care and support are informed by an understanding of the best available evidence about what works.

Our impact

Our role is to support professionals to develop evidence-based solutions to safeguard and support citizens and we’ve put some building blocks in place.

We engaged with people working in social care to find out about the barriers and enablers to using research and evidence.

In response, we developed an evidence offer that sets out our approach, which will be put into action over the next three years.

The impact of this work will become more evident over time. We’ll adapt our approach as we learn from our experiences, using an agile approach to delivery.

We also carried out research to identify ways to share evidence and improve partnership working. This is work done with researchers and others who can help us support the use of research and innovation in social care policy and practice.

We carried out a research prioritisation project, using James Lind Alliance methodology, focused on older people. This has been shared with research funders to enable new research in this area. We’ll focus on priorities for children during 2022 to 2023.

Better-quality data and increased data sharing are critical to planning for people’s care needs. They are also essential in understanding and tackling inequalities in people’s experience of and access to care.

This is particularly relevant in helping people with the full range of protected characteristics who rely on care and support. It’s also important in making sure social care is a safe, effective and fair place for all to work in.

We used the research to begin to establish the systems needed to enhance the co-ordination of research and data in social care in Wales. We’ll develop this further during 2022 to 2023.

The Data Portal’s improved functionality is an important step. This helps make sure that we widen usability and start to offer more insights into existing data.

The discovery portal will allow users to interact with data in novel and intuitive ways. They will be able to find more insights and understanding and work to address some of the data gaps identified by the sector.

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A registered social care workforce that has the public’s confidence

First published: 27 June 2023
Last updated: 28 June 2023
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