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Introduction to Adult Social Care Survey - Data Access Request Service (DARS)

Video of webinar presented by Robyn Wilson

March 2020

Transcript of the “Introduction to Adult Social Care Survey” webinar

Slide 1

Hello and welcome to this webinar on the Adult Social Care Survey.

My name is Robyn Wilson and I am the Analytical Section Head for this data set.

Slide 2

The Personal Social Services Adult Social Care Survey, often shortened to Users’ Survey, is an annual national survey, conducted by Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (or for CASSRs for short).

It gathers information from a sample of services users; aged 18 and over; who are in receipt of long-term support services funded or managed by CASSRs.

The Adult Social Care Survey seeks to learn more about how effectively services provided are helping service users to live safely and independently in their own homes, and about the impact that these services have on users’ quality of life.

Slide 3

Adult Social Care Survey forms part of the wider programme of work, in which NHS Digital collect and publish a wide range of information on adult social care activities. 

The social care data is submitted to NHS Digital by the 152 councils, in England, with adult social services responsibilities. 

It is then used to populate the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) and to produce a range of reports, which are available from the NHS Digital’s website.

Most of the national adult social care data collections are available in an aggregated form, whilst the Adult Social Care Survey and the Survey of Adult Carers in England are available on an individual record level. 

For ease, in the rest of this presentation, I will refer to the Adult Social Care Survey as “users’ survey”.

Slide 4

There are 6 main areas the Adult Social Care Survey collects data on:
1. Overall satisfaction with care and support
2. The quality of life of the user
3. The knowledge and information about available social care services
4. Health and wellbeing of the social care user
5. The layout of their home and surrounding area
6. Help from others
The users’ survey data is collected predominantly via postal survey and it has been ongoing since the financial year 2010/11.

Slide 5

The sampling method used for the ASCS is known as stratified random sampling. This involves splitting the eligible population into discrete groups, known as strata, and drawing an independent sample from within each stratum.

This helps to make the sample more representative of the eligible population and also allows CASSRs to oversample in strata of interest in order to obtain robust results for that group. The use of stratified sampling means that there is a need to weight CASSR-level data to adjust the results to represent the eligible population from which the sample is drawn. If it is not possible to assign a service user to a stratum then they are removed.

The sample size for England is roughly 70,000 representing an eligible population of around 600,000 service users.

The Data Quality of the survey is fully described each year in a dedicated report published as part of the materials – we’ve included a link to the most recent Users’ publication page.

Slide 6

The users’ Survey data is available to request through the NHS Digital’s Data Access Request Service, under its standard application process.

The Users’ Survey data is available to request only in a pseudonymised form.

As it does not contain direct identifiers, the Users’ data cannot be linked to other assets.

Customers would receive a flat csv file, where one line would represent one service user.

The data is structured in yearly files, aligned to financial years, starting from 2010/11.

Slide 7

In order to protect individuals from the risk of re-identification, the following restrictions must be applied when publishing outcomes of analyses based on Users’ data.

Age and ethnicity are to be grouped into broad categories
-    age: into 18-64 and 65 and over,
-    ethnicity: into white, non-white and refused/not stated.

Sensitive data items (sexual identity, religion and reported health condition) are only to be published in an aggregate form.
In instances where less than three service users, within a council, have unique combinations of the most identifiable variables – age group, gender, support setting, ethnicity group, primary support reason and stratum – a suppression to value ‘99’ of these six variables will be required.

Where data for gender, age, support setting, ethnicity and primary support reason are all missing, the records are not to be altered. Stratum should always be known and populated.

Slide 8

To find out more about the Adult Social Care Survey, our publications or about the Data Access Request Service, please use the links provided here.

Slide 9

Alternatively, contact us via email on or by telephone on 0300 303 5678.

Last edited: 28 July 2021 4:24 pm