NHS National Services Scotland’s User Engagement Event

Can we make official health statistics better? This was the question posed to attendees at an event held by NHS National Services Scotland and the UK Statistics Authority in June 2014.

The aim of the day was to better understand user needs to help inform improvements in quality, value, accessibility and impact of information. The event was open to anybody with an interest in health statistics and anyone that couldn’t come along could follow the event on Twitter.

An interactive day with a variety of presentations and workshops:

Can we make official health statistics better?

10 Page Summary Report

NHS National Services Scotland published a 10 page summary report on the event which gives much more information about what was learned, how it will be used and advice for running future engagement events.

The day involved a mix of presentations and workshops, with attendees being asked for their views on how they use statistics and how they would like them communicated. An illustrator was on hand to capture the themes of the day – see these below!

The illustrations were used to spark discussion and to help identify the most important messages from the event.

One of the key messages was that one size does not fit all.

There are some users that want the data as soon as possible and others who would rather wait for the analysis. Some are happy to deal with provisional data, whilst others prefer to wait until it has been fully quality assured.


Some key messages from the day:test pic 3

  • One size does not fit all – Producers need to consider different ways of releasing information to suit a variety of user needs.
  • Users would value having indicators showing whether data were to be used with confidence (green) or caution (amber).
  • A need for more interpretation of the information we publish to help users understand what the statistics are telling them.
  • There was a clear appreciation of, and confidence in, the statistics produced by NHS National Services Scotland.


An illustrators point of view of the key messages