Health and care statistics

The health and social care have devolved within  in the United Kingdom. In England, data collection and publications of a range of official health and care statistical outputs is provided by number of organisations. As noted by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) in 2016 “Statistics are published on a variety of different websites, in different formats, with no single portal available to guide researchers or the public”.

To help users find the information they need, we have introduced:

1. A health and care statistics landscape for England. This experimental output provides links to a range of official statistics produced across government organisations.

2. English Health Statistics Steering Group (EHSSG) theme groups. The theme groups aim to bring together producers of official health and care statistics together to ensure relevant, coherent and accessible health and care statistics are meeting user needs.

3. The monthly health and care monthly knowledge update. A monthly newsletter distributed through e-mail that brings together information, resources, and official statistics on health and care. To subscribe and receive any future updates please join the mailing list. We no longer publish newsletter archive, all previous versions of the newsletter are available upon request. For information please contact gss.health@ons.gov.uk.

 

The English Health Statistics Steering Group has been integral in driving these approaches forward along with the Health and Care Publications Advisory Board (this is a non accessible PDF, 97KB). Together,  the English Health Statistics Steering Group have drafted a work plan of the goals and objectives for the time period 2019 to 2024 which will be regularly updated in light of new challenges and developments.

We welcome your feedback on these products. Please email gss.health@ons.gov.uk.

What are health and social care statistics used for?

Health and care statistics provide essential information about trends in the population (births and deaths), patterns of medical conditions and need for healthcare (mortality by cause, mental health issues, disease incidence), and the activity and effectiveness of health services (hospital episodes, cancer survival).

Statistics on births and deaths are widely used to plan services at national and local levels, develop government policy on major topics such as pensions, allocate local government and NHS funding according to need, and measure changes over time and inequalities between geographical areas and social groups.

Disease and medical condition-specific statistics, whether from death certificates, hospital records, GP records or patient surveys, are central to planning and evaluating health services. These data sources are also one of the most important contributors to scientific knowledge about population health (epidemiology) and wellbeing and provide evidence for many kinds of medical research.

An important area of health statistics is the reporting of health and social care activity, such as numbers of patients treated. The publication of this information makes it possible to understand the workloads of different services, study trends in demand and supply, and compare the performance and quality of services of different areas and organisations.

Contact

For health statistics, please e-mail gss.health@ons.gov.uk

Adult social care statistics

The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) recently set out papers highlighting significant challenges in social care across the four nations in the UK; England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The papers highlighted common areas for improvements amongst the nations:

  • greater collaboration between countries including sharing best practice
  • improving existing official statistics by standardising data collection processes and increasing accessibility
  • filling gaps in the data including understanding the private market and unpaid carers
  • improving data quality by working with local authorities
  • addressing the imbalance of resources between health and social care and consideration should be given to sharing statistical resources

The adult social care team at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been addressing some of these areas for improvement.

Work done so far:

ONS have created an interactive online landscape tool which pulls together official statistics on adult social care across the four nations of the UK into one easy place to improve the accessibility to the data. Each month the landscape is updated with new publications. The landscape also includes up-to-date official statistics on the effect of the coronavirus on the care sector.

Our aim is to engage with stakeholders across the four nations to improve leadership and collaboration. We are also working with the Government Statistical Service Harmonisation Team, to help make statistics more comparable, consistent and coherent.

We aim to identify evidence gaps in adult social care data and explore data availability to fill these gaps. Initially, we will be focusing on self-funders and unpaid care. Following our releases on Deaths involving COVID-19 in the care sector, England and Wales we plan to produce a new annual publication on deaths to care home residents.

If you would like any more information or to provide any feedback please contact the Social Care Team on social.care@ons.gov.uk