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New social care standards support more personalised care

New standards for integrating key health and social care information will ensure services can work together better to provide more personalised care.

New social care standards support more personalised care

New standards for integrating key health and social care information will ensure services can work together better to provide more personalised care.  

The new national standards have been introduced to ensure that information is recorded and shared in a clear and consistent way across health and social care. This means professionals will have a full picture of a person’s needs, enabling them to provide safer and individually tailored care.

Sam Bergin Goncalves, citizen lead on the project and mum to 22-year-old Shane – a user of health and social care services - said: “Improved care is where people are listened to, valued and understood. It means goals and health ambitions are taken into account and support is offered to help achieve them.”

The standards have been commissioned and led by NHS Digital and produced by  the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB).

More than 1,000 people, including frontline health workers, patients and carers, helped develop the new standards as part of a consultation which also involved clinical and professional groups, charities, suppliers and researchers.

The five new standards will ensure important personal details, such as the need for additional social care support after a person’s hospital stay, will be recorded and shared with their care team.

Other important non-medical information can also be included, such as a photo and details about work, family or friends, or the ways a person usually behaves when they are in good physical and mental health. This will provide professionals with a better understanding of the person, not just their illness or condition.

The new standards cover:

  • ‘about me’ - the personal details that a person would like to be recorded about   themselves
  • health and care information shared in care homes
  • information shared by local authorities
  • referrals for community assessments for care and support after a hospital stay
  • the urgent information needed when a person is transferred to hospital from a care home

Professor Adam Gordon, vice president at the British Geriatrics Society and clinical lead on the project, said: “This standardised information will help everyone involved in care to  access the information they need to help people to live the best possible lives they can.

“From crucial information about medication and its effects, right through to daily goals and aspirations, it will help to ensure that everyone can be treated as an individual.”

Sam Bergin Goncalves added: “Shane is loving and affectionate and enjoys gardening, baking, swimming and visiting museums. He has cerebral palsy, a visual impairment and a severe learning difficulty.

“Over the years it has been difficult navigating through a system that is obsessed with labels. We have found that clinicians will record data that they find useful, and the health and social care system will prioritise keeping someone safe, with little room for dreams and aspirations.”

Comprehensive shared information will enable Sam’s son, other service users and their families to get the additional support they need in a way that works for them.

James Palmer, head of the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital, said: “The development of these standards marks a major step forward for social care, supporting better care for service users and wider use of shared digital records across the UK.

“Several areas across the UK have already begun implementing the standards, resulting in improvements to wellbeing and health and care. The learning from these pilots will be shared across the country."

The development of the standards is part of NHS Digital’s Digital Social Care Pathfinders Programme, in which funding to roll out local digital projects has been awarded to 16 organisations which provide and commission adult social care services.  

The pathfinders have previously piloted products and services and are now implementing them on a larger scale, many using these standards to support interoperability.

The new standards for information shared by local authorities and ‘about me’ will be incorporated into the existing shared record standard, known as the core information standard, which was published in 2019.

The other standards will be published separately at


Notes to editors

  1. A wide range of stakeholders were engaged with the consultation on the new standards, including professional bodies, carers’ charities, royal colleges, patient and carers’ groups, academia, IT suppliers and providers.
  2. NHS Digital’s Social Care Programme commissioned PRSB to develop the new standards.
  3.  The NHS Digital Social Care Programme Board includes representation from local government, care providers, the Department for Health and Social Care, the social work profession, CQC and NHSX.
  4. More information on the Digital Social Care Pathfinders programme is available at this link
  5. The Professional Record Standards Body is an independent, non-profit member organisation developing standards for digital patient records. They consult with clinical professionals, patients, carers, data specialists, policy managers and vendors to develop standards and guidance that will support improved information sharing between systems across health and social care.



For more information on the PRSB's work, contact communications officer Lizzie Cernik on


NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner of the health and care system.  Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend.  Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better.


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Last edited: 9 November 2020 3:38 pm