The English Health Statistics theme groups

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The English Health Statistics Steering Group (EHSSG) theme groups were set up after a recommendation from the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR).

The theme groups aim to make sure there are relevant, coherent and accessible health and care statistics that meet user needs. The theme groups cover all areas of the health and care statistics system. They are chaired by a lead from one statistical provider and have members from other official statistics producers. As groups are self-established, users are essential in informing the future direction of health and care statistics.

Action plans by theme group

Action plans marked ā€˜coming soonā€™ will be updated once they are available.

Aim one

We aim to improve access to official statistics.

Progress

  1. Office for National Statistics has launched an interactive tool which gathers all official adult social care publications in one place. The landscape tool was launched in July 2020, and it is updated every month. There are plans to integrate this with a matrix of different social care topics. This will explain the situation in each of the four nations and tell users whether the data are comparable.
  2. Local Government Association and NHS Digital are working together to include additional data from Official Statistics (Safeguarding Adults) onto Local Government Associationā€™s LGInform tool. The tool already includes safeguarding data that was released as part of the NHS Digital publication on Mid-Year 2020-21 Adult Social Care Activity. The data shows how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the demand for aspects of adult social care services. It also shows how the pandemic has affected the way services have been provided. This data will be displayed in LGInform with LGInform similar data collected by LGA to give more detailed information about the pandemic.

Aim two

We aim to improve coherence of official statistics and the UK four nations.

Progress

  1. Work has been done to make sure NHS Digital publications are all in similar formats. These publications provide most adult social care official statistics. More publications have now moved to HTML formats. The outputs have been reviewed and added further standardisation. The open data formats have been improved according to best practice.
  2. Summary report has been produced to bring together important messages around adult social care data from all official statistics and other data sources. This information will be presented in a new Official Statistics release. NHS Digital is working on this and the new release will be published on 25 March 2021.
  3. NHS Digital, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and Department of Health and Social Care are working closely to minimise the difference in net current expenditure figures. They are also working to explain the causes behind any residual difference. The departments will continue to work together and have added more information to recent published reports.
  4. Representation on the UK four Nations Adult Social Care Group continues to be provided, and a dedicated action plan is forming with the matrix product mentioned in aim one being the first deliverable.

Ā Aim three

We aim to reduce duplication in data collection to make sure producers of official statistics are working efficiently.

Progress

  1. We have identified that blind and partially sighted data collection could be an alternative data source. By using this data source we could reduce duplication. We could also reduce the amount of work local authorities would need to do to provide the data to NHS Digital. This project would need new funding to develop.

Ā Aim four

We aim to reduce duplication in data analysis to make sure producers of official statistics are working efficiently.

Progress

  1. NHS Digital have been gathering requirements for a new centralised analytical tool that will replace the National Adult Social Care Intelligence Service (NASCIS). This project will need new funding to develop. But when the tool is created it will help stop the same work being done by different producers of statistics.
  2. Councils and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) regions develop similar products, but they are funded and produced separately. This means that there are risks that information may be inaccurate. It also means that resources could be being wasted. The Analytical Hub data visualisation tool has been improved by adding historical data in a more effective and efficient way.
  3. There is an agreement to transfer NHS Digitalā€™s National Statistics about workers that are employed by the local to Skills for Care (SfC). The data will be displayed with Ā their data and analytical release on total adult social care workforce. This is because the underlying data source is the same and is controlled by SfC.
  4. The Office for Statistics Regulation will be working to make sure that SfC are legally entitled to produce official statistics as an organisation. The work to do this is expected to start in July 2020. This will mean that future releases of adult social care workforce data can be badged as official statistics. This is important because it will help make sure there is no loss of trust, quality or value in transferring from NHS Digital to SfC.

Ā Aim five

We aim to speak to with users and work out the most effective ways of addressing the most important information needs and evidence gaps.

Progress

  1. The Department of Health and Social Care have reached a client level dataset based on existing Short and Long Term support (SALT) aggregate data collection. This is a major success and gives legal basis to NHS Digital to receive the data. This will allow for more timely and detailed analysis on aspects of social care activity.
  2. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have commissioned the Institute of Public Care to review the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF). ADASS are engaging comprehensively with users to suggest new measures that are more useful to users. The work has been delayed, but the recommendations were shared in December 2020 and local authorities were encouraged to give feedback. A working group will now refine the recommendations to create new measures that can be used.
  3. The Department of Health and Social Care have commissioned Ipsos Mori to review whether the social care service usersā€™ survey and the carersā€™ survey are representative. The aim is to improve the quality and value of Adult Social Care survey data. The work has been delayed but is still ongoing.
  4. NHS Digital has developed a summary report that brings together important messages around adult social care data from all official statistics and other data sources. This information will be presented in a new Official Statistics release and it will be published on 25 March 2021. This will clearly show evidence gaps in context for users.

Contact

For further information contact Jason Snowden, Department of Health and Social Care onĀ gss.health@ons.gov.uk.

Members

Jason Snowden (Department for Health and Social Care, chair)

Jane Winter (NHS Digital, secretariat)

Robyn Wilson (NHS Digital)

Sophie John (Office for National Statistics)

Louise Chapman (Care Quality Commission)

Phillipa Lynch (Local Government Association)

Damian Furniss (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services)

Aim one

We aim to co-ordinate release dates of data about alcohol and health.

Progress

  1. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) published data about alcohol related mortality on 7 December 2021.
  2. NHS Digital published data about alcohol related hospital admissions in late January 2022. OHID published updated data about alcohol related hospital admissions in February 2022. We aim to ensure the latest data are available for both publications in the future.

Aim two

We aim to make our terminology clearer and more consistent.

Progress

  1. The Alcohol Theme Group will review the definitions used for alcohol indicators in statistical publications across the UK. They will review whether there is a need to make definitions clearer.

Aim three

We aim to help users understand the range of questions asked in surveys about alcohol consumption.

Progress

  1. Changes have been suggested to the Health Survey for England alcohol consumption questions. The group will compare questions that have been used in surveys in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to review how consistent they are.

Contact

For further information contact Martin White, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities onĀ gss.health@ons.gov.uk.

Members

Martin White (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, chair)

Mark Cook, (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)

Cristina Sanchez (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)

Beth Manders (Office for National Statistics)

Paul Breen (Office for National Statistics)

James Tucker (Office for National Statistics)

David Mais (Office for National Statistics)

David Connelly (NHS Digital)

Sharon Thandi (NHS Digital)

Michael Harkin (Department of Health Northern Ireland)

Gary Maxwell (Department of Health Northern Ireland)

Carly Gordon (Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency)

Tara Shivaji (Public Health Scotland)

Cath Roberts (Welsh Government)

Julie Ramsay (National Records of Scotland)

Morag Shepherd (Scottish Government)

Action plan coming soon.

Action plan coming soon.

Action plan coming soon.

Action plan coming soon.

Aim oneĀ 

We plan to create an online area to help members of the group work together. Users will be able to use the online area to:

  • talk to each other
  • share documents
  • share publication dates and calendars

The area will be set up before the next meeting.

ProgressĀ 

The online area for the group has been set up. Theme group members have been invited to access the area. Documents that have been shared before can be loaded to the online area.

Aim twoĀ 

We plan to start talking about prevalence and differences in methodology and terminology between nations.

The Chairperson will facilitate meetings between nations. The national prevalence leads will continue developing their own prevalence estimates but meet with a view to aligning methods and terms where possible and for group learning, and report back to the group.

The first meeting will happen in early 2022.

ProgressĀ 

The first meeting has taken place. National prevalence leads will arrange future meetings as each nation develops its methodology. At the first meeting it was agreed that a future aim will be to develop a UK wide prevalence figure. The methodology will be developed with learning from the individual nations work.

Aim threeĀ 

We plan to talk to other theme groups to see if there might be some useful cross over or if guests joining from other theme groups would be informative such as alcohol or mortality where there are close links. This is something to explore for future meetings.

ProgressĀ 

The Chairperson has spoken to the alcohol group. We plan to connect with other theme groups when they are established, and they have updated their action plans.

Aim fourĀ Ā 

We plan to share what we have learnt about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected people who use drugs. We will discuss progress at the next meeting.

ProgressĀ 

This is a new action. This means that there is no progress to report yet. We will discuss this work at our next meeting.

Contact

For further information contact Patrick Horgan, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities onĀ GSS.Health@ons.gov.uk.

MembersĀ 

Patrick Horgan (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)

David Mais, ONS

Billy Gazard, ONS

Paul Breen, ONS

Beth Manders, ONS

Alberto Oteo, (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)

Sharon Thandi, (NHS Digital)

Molly Watts, (Home Office)

Elizabeth Geear, (Home Office)

Jacob Jeffrey, DHSC

Cryss Foster, Department of Health, NI

Carly Gordon, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency

Josie Smith, Public Health Wales

Maria Kaye-Bardgett, National Records of Scotland

Lee Barnsdale, Public Health Scotland

Rachael Sinclair, Scottish Government

Joshua Bird, Scottish Government

Rachael Sinclair, Scottish Government

Aim 1

We plan to share a list of currently published end of life care statistics.

Aim 2

We plan to share a list of end of life care statistics that are being developed.

Aim 3

We plan to identify data gaps in end of life care statistics and find ways to fill these gaps.

Contact

For further information contact Andy Pring, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities onĀ gss.health@ons.gov.uk.

Membership

Andy Pring (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Chair)

Naa-Dedei Ellis – (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Secretariat)

Jason Snowden (Department of Health & Social Care)

Amanda Little (Care Quality Commission)

Neil Bannister (Office for National Statistics)

Ed Manning (NHS England and NHS Improvement)

Giles Foster (NHS Digital)

Aim one

We will decide joint priorities going forward.

We will set out a workplan with high-level aims for the Health Inequalities Theme Group. The workplan will include ways to measure progress and identify subgroups of people to lead each piece of work.

Progress

At the next theme group meeting the group will discuss how to:

  • agree ways of working across departments
  • share department workplans – this will help to identify what work is already planned to fill evidence gaps
  • develop a joint workplan, with subgroups identified to work towards each task
  • regularly review progress towards the workplan, and report progress to EHSSG Steering Group

The Theme Group will ask sub-groups to make progress with each of the actions in the work plan. This includes the rest of the aims in this action plan (aims two to six). The sub-groups will then report back to the rest of the Theme Group.

Aim two

We aim to harmonise methods for reporting data on health inequalities.

Progress

We can talk about methodology issues and work towards agreeing a consistent approach where this is possible and appropriate. We can also share mapping of evidence gaps, and agree joint priorities.

Our first priority will be to think about how we report changes in inequality trends over time. This is particularly important for the DHSC annual report.

Aim three

We aim to improve the breadth and quality of data on ethnic minority health inequalities.

Progress

The subject of health inequalities for ethnic minority groups will be a high priority topic for the group to work together on collaboratively.

We will talk about different approaches and data sources for producing life expectancy and mortality rates by ethnic group. We will look at methods for calculating measures of hospital admissions by ethnic group and agree a consistent methodology.

Aim four

We will identify priority areas for development and create plans to make improvements in these areas.

Progress

The effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on health inequalities continues to be high priority. The group will coordinate with other inequality issues that arise.

Aim five

We will develop a user engagement strategy.

Progress

The group will look at the benefits of joint user engagement activities on health inequality outputs when appropriate.

Aim Six

Organisations will share details of planned work in advance. This includes sharing indicative release dates.

Progress

Organisations will give updates about planned work at each theme group meeting. Group meetings usually take place every three months.

Contact

For further information contact Alistair Rose, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities onĀ GSS.Health@ons.gov.uk.

Members

We will share a list of members soon.;

Action plan coming soon.

Action plan coming soon.

Action plan coming soon.

Aim one

Keep group members informed of upcoming mortality publications, as well as informing each other of changes and developments of any new and existing methods and definitions.

ProgressĀ 

  1. Ongoing ā€“ Group members provide updates on a monthly basis.

Aim two

Group members to be kept informed of changes to death certification as a result of the introduction of medical examiners and the likely impact on statistics.

ProgressĀ 

  1. Action for Sarah Caul (Office for National Statistics).

Aim three

Replace 21st century mortality files publication with an electronic version that provides detailed data in a user-friendly format.

ProgressĀ 

  1. Paused ā€“ Waiting on a suitable replacement for the current system (NOMIS)

Aim four

Coordinate publications, analysis and advice. Reduce duplication and deliver efficiencies.

ProgressĀ 

  1. Ongoing through monthly meetings.

Aim five

Identify priority areas for development within the topic and develop plans for each area identified.

ProgressĀ 

  1. COVID-19 continues to be highest priority. Further discussion will be needed on priorities as the pandemic evolves.

Aim six

Coordinate user engagement and deliver a seamless service to users.

ProgressĀ 

  1. No progress to report yet.

ContactĀ 

For further information contact Sarah Caul, Office for National Statistics onā€Ægss.health@ons.gov.uk

MembersĀ 

Memberā€™s list coming soon

Aim one

We aim to understand the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on smoking statistics for users.

Progress

The pandemic has affected all smoking statistics in some way. We want to investigate this and provide some guidance and interpretation to users.

Aim two

We aim to co-ordinate the publication of smoking statistics for 2022 to 2023 so they are released at the same time.

Progress

Previously the group had co-ordinated release of:

  • Statistics on Smoking – produced by NHS Digital
  • Adult Smoking Habits – produced by ONS and PHE
  • Smoking Status at the Time of Delivery – produced by NHS Digital
  • An update to the Local Tobacco Control Profiles produced by PHE

These publications were released in June 2017, and July 2018. A joint press release was produced to go with these publications. The press release was written by NHS Digital with input from ONS and PHE.

These publications were delayed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and were released at different times. The group plan to review the publication timescales for 2022 to 2023. We are aiming to release these publications at the same time where possible.

Ā Aim three

We aim to reduce duplication of work.

Progress

Smoking related deaths and hospital admissions are being produced by NHS Digital and OHID. NHS Digital are producing detailed national level estimates. OHID are producing local level estimates. NHS Digital and OHID will review the methodologies that are being used to produce these estimates. They are aiming to reduce any duplication of work.

Aim four

We plan to remove or explain methodological differences between smoking related questions used with surveys.

Progress

The group previously held a workshop which was attended by members of group and other people who are interested in statistics about smoking. The workshop concentrated on how data is gathered in surveys and how it is reported.

A report was written after the workshop and recommended that some of the survey questions should be harmonised. But this work was paused because of the pandemic. The group will review this report and think about any changes they may need to make after the pandemic.

Ā Aim five

We aim to provide data for policy monitoring and development.

Progress

The group will look at the Independent Review of Tobacco when it is published and consider how it affects data.

Aim 6

We aim to increase user engagement.

Progress

External users from academia, a charity and a local authority gave presentations to the group in 2018 about how they use official statistics on smoking.

Contact

For further information contact Kate Bedford, NHS Digital onā€ÆGSS.Health@ons.gov.uk

Members

We will share a list of members soon.

Action plan coming soon.

This theme group is currently paused.

 

Last Updated: March 2022