The health foundation: strengthening Social Care Analytics

This funding programme aims to address key challenges to help the social care sector respond to COVID-19 and its aftermath.

This programme is open for application until 2 October 2020.

  • New £300,000 funding programme launched for projects addressing a key challenge to help the social care sector respond to COVID-19 and its aftermath.
  • We’re looking for projects that can demonstrate how data analytics can be used to improve social care and help to catalyse further change in the social care data analytics system by sharing their findings and methods with our community of practice. 
  • The Strengthening Social Care Analytics programme will support up to five teams across the UK with funding of up to £60,000 per project for up to 12 months. 
  • The programme is now open for expressions of interest and will close at midday, Friday 2 October 2020. 

The Health Foundation has launched a new programme aiming to fund exemplar projects that demonstrate how data analytics can be used to improve social care.   

COVID-19 is having a profound impact on people needing and using care, and their carers. Analysis is urgently needed to help us understand the problems they are facing and the actions that need to be taken, ahead of a possible resurgence in the virus. 

The Health Foundation has explored the key challenges the social care sector is facing in the COVID-19 era. Over the last few months, we have hosted workshops with people who use care services, carers, providers, care technology developers, local authorities, researchers, and membership bodies for providers and for front-line staff. Participants came from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, from domiciliary care and residential care, and included adults with a range of ages, needs and experiences.    

Our workshops identified three key priorities:   

  • Improving the quality of social care for cohorts of people that experience the worst outcomes.   
  • Building a resilient, safe workforce.     
  • Understanding the lived experience of people needing social care.     

We want to support social care providers and commissioners to tackle these problems using innovative data analytics. In some cases, this may require new data collections to be made. 

The pandemic has revealed major weaknesses in the social care data system. These problems made it harder for the country to respond to outbreaks and to support carers to provide care during the pandemic, and ultimately led to avoidable suffering for our most vulnerable people.  

We will support teams that can demonstrate the effective use of data analytics in social care, and that are prepared to share their learning with other social care analytics teams, including through the new community of practice that we are also launching. We will be looking for projects that involve people that need and use social care services and demonstrate a high degree of transparency, publishing their code as well as their findings so that these can be used across the system.   

Join us in strengthening the social care system so that it is more able to use data analytics to respond effectively to the resurgence of the virus, as well as deal with the challenges that the sector will be left with after the pandemic.  

Invitation to apply 

We are inviting social care providers and commissioners, including local authorities, health boards in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, domiciliary care providers or residential/care home providers, to apply for our Strengthening Social Care Analytics programme.  

Lead organisations can partner with another organisation within the social care analytics ‘ecosystem’, for example academic institutions, umbrella membership organisations, voluntary organisations, care technology providers and other key organisations in the sector.   

Community of practice 

We will be forming a community of practice so that these teams can share what they are doing with their peers. We will also be sharing the learning from these studies with national policy makers and membership organisations who represent social care commissioners, providers and people who need social care, so that they can learn about how data can be used to improve care and support good practice in social care analytics going forward.   

How to apply  

There are two stages to the application process for this programme.  

1. Expressions of interest 

The programme opens for expressions of interest on Monday 24 August 2020 and closes at midday, Friday 2 October 2020

Applicants must complete the Expression of interest form for the first stage of the application process. Applicants must submit this expression of interest to

Applicants must read the following documents before starting their application: 

We will hold a webinar on Thursday 10 September 2020 to discuss the programme and answer questions from applicants. The Frequently asked questions document will be updated following this event.

If you would like to join this webinar, please register online.

2. Full applications 

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full application via AIMS, our grant management software, from Monday 26 October 2020. Please note that the application form is a general form that is being used on all Health Foundation programmes and you will need to read the Application form guidance to help you apply for the Strengthening Social Care Analytics programme. Shortlisted projects will receive the Application form guidance document via email on Monday 26 October 2020 alongside their invitation to submit a full application. 

Shortlisted applicants will also be invited to undertake a video interview between Monday 7 December and Friday 11 December 2020 and applicants are asked to ensure they can be available within this time frame. 


Call opens for expressions of interest24 August 2020
Call closes2 October 2020
Applicants will be informed as to whether they have been shortlisted or are unsuccessful23 October 2020
Shortlisted projects submit full applications26 October – 20 November 2020
Interviews with shortlisted applicants7 – 11 December 2020
Applicants will be notified of decision to fund18 December 2020
Projects start1 March 2021

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