Catalogues of Social Care Measures

Martin Knapp In progress  


There is increasing interest in social care in both public policy and public discourse. This has led to increasing demand for evidence from social care research to inform policy discussions and practice decisions. Many existing national and other surveys collect data that is relevant to social care research, including measures of social care-related needs, utilisation of services and receipt or delivery of unpaid care. The purpose of this project is to make it easier for researchers and others to identify where there already exist data on social care measures.



This specific proposal is for two activities:

• to add social care filters into the existing Catalogue of Mental Health Measures (
• to develop a standalone Catalogue of Social Care Measures.


In each case, the task would be to identify variables, measures or instruments completed by or for individuals who:

• have social care needs, assets or strengths;
• use social care services or services that are linked to social care needs;
• live in a social care setting;
• receive unpaid care from a family member, friend or neighbour;
• provide unpaid care to a family member, friend or neighbour; and/or
• work as a paid staff member in the social care sector.


This project is now in receipt of additional funding as of 01 August 2023. Details are as follows:

Activity 1: Keeping the Catalogue of Social Care Data Updated
Aims and objectives:
Researchers Derek King and Edmund Stubbs will keep CPEC’s newly created catalogue of social care data (CASCID) updated. CASCID contains all measures related to social care from 43 large UK datasets. Many of these datasets still collect new rounds of data as either longitudinal surveys, initiating sweeps at regular intervals, or as national or local government or NHS data collections which may alter the information they collect over time. For this reason, keeping the catalogue up to date with accurate information concerning measures about social care is critical. If the latest measures from a featured dataset are missing from the catalogue, it inhibits the catalogue’s purpose of providing a comprehensive up-to-date list of all measures concerning need, receipt or use of social care in the UK. Users might then feel that they cannot use the catalogue as a reliable research tool.
Methods and workplan:
Derek King and Edmund Stubbs will visit the dataset pages (or contact relevant mangers) for all CASCID datasets and check that the latest sweeps and data collection tools for each study match the latest measures recorded on the website. Any new measures will be added to CASCID. They will also run searches to discover any large new UK datasets which include social care measures that have been started since CASCID was created. Any new datasets will be scanned for measures related to the need, receipt or provision of social care and added to the catalogue.
Expected outcomes:
CASCID being updated with the latest measures related to social care from large UK datasets. This will enhance the usefulness of CASCID for research and other purposes and enhance user confidence in the catalogue.

Activity 2: Write a paper commenting on data availability across social care
Aims and objectives:
To undertake analysis of existing social care data to establish: 1) whether the most prominent social care issues of 2023 are adequately covered by UK datasets and 2) whether collection methodologies capture data that is comprehensive (without excluding certain groups or topics) and valid (accurately portraying the reality of what they attempt to measure).
Methods and workplan:
The team will run searches using CASCID to discover what topics are, and are not, explored by UK social care datasets and inspect the data collection methods of all 43 datasets included in CASCID. The latter activity will allow us to evaluate whether such methodologies appear to help or hinder data collection on important social care topics. For example, are some common questioning techniques exclusionary of those with dementia? We will prepare a paper based on our findings for submission to a peer-reviewed, open-access journal.
Expected outcomes:
It is hoped the production of this paper will: a) help researchers and policy makers comprehend what social care topics are well covered or poorly covered across the UK; b) help researchers and policy makers consider which methodologies are excluding input from key stakeholder groups; c) help raise awareness of CASCID and therefore increase user numbers.