The English Health Statistics theme groups

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 ‘coming soon’ 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 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 Association’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.

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.

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 Digital’s National Statistics about workers that are employed by the local to Skills for Care (SfC). The data will be displayed with  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.

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 users’ survey and the carers’ 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 on 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 on 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.

Aim one

Provide meaningful comparisons of secondary care waiting time and performance statistics across the UK. The comparisons should concentrate on similarities between the data rather than differences.

Progress

The mechanism for providing these comparisons has not yet been decided. But a written document will need to be produced and published to communicate the findings.

Analysis and work will be split by performance area. The first subject for comparison will be routine elective waiting times. The schedule will be reviewed regularly during the project.

Aim two

Look at outcome metrics to account for devolved policies and differences in data definitions.

Progress

Outcome metrics still need to be identified. This project will run alongside the project described in the ‘Aim one’ section.

For each area the metrics will need to be identified as outcomes that directly relate to performance. The outcome metrics will also need to be available across the UK.

Aim three

Contribute to the development of statistics and act as a conduit between producers of statistics across the UK. This will help ensure coherence across the UK in the longer term.

Progress

Progress against this aim will be ongoing. We will report on progress at each group meeting and to EHSSG meetings when there are developments in this area.

Contact

For further information contact Ted Goshawk-Dumbrell from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) at GSS.Health@ons.gov.uk.

Members

Ted Goshawk-Dumbrell (DHSC; Chair);

Oliver Haines (DHSC);

Debbie Moon (NHSE);

Siobhan Morgan (Health NI);

Tim Gibbs (PHS);

William Perks (Welsh Gov);

Scott Wilson (ONS)

Jacqueline Collier-Dixon (ONS)

Action plan coming soon.

Aim one

Establish a joint collaborative area for discussions and sharing documents and publication dates/calendar. Area to be set up before next meeting.

Progress

Area has been set up. Theme group members have been sent invites to join group. Previously shared documents can be loaded onto here.

Aim two

Start discussions around prevalence and differences in methodology and terminology between nations. Chair to co-ordinate meeting between nations, national prevalence leads to liaise. Initial meeting to take place in early 2022.

Progress

Initial meeting arranged and has taken place. Future meetings will be arranged as each nation develops its methodology. Outcome of first meeting was to look to create an additional UK wide prevalence figure and methodology at a later stage.

Aim three

Linking with 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. To explore for future meetings

Progress

Chair has made contact with the alcohol group and once other groups memberships and action plans are updated will look into this further

Aim four

Group to look to sharing learnings and understandings of the impact of covid on people who use drugs at the next meeting

Progress

New action, no progress yet started. Will be discussed at next meeting.

Contact

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

Members

Patrick Horgan (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)

David Mais (Office for National Statistics)

Billy Gazard (Office for National Statistics)

Paul Breen (Office for National Statistics)

Beth Manders (Office for National Statistics)

Alberto Oteo, (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)

Sharon Thandi, (NHS Digital)

Molly Watts, (Home Office)

Elizabeth Geear, (Home Office)

Jacob Jeffrey (Department of Health and Social Care)

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)

Claire Edmundson (UK Health Security Agency)

Aim one

Make available a list of currently published end of life care statistics.

Aim two

Make available a list of end of life care statistics in development.

Aim three

Identify data gaps in end of life care statistics and help develop suggestions to meet that need.

Contact

For further information contact Andy Pring, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities on 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

Workplans and joint prioritisation:

Theme Group to agree joint priorities going forward, set out a workplan with high-level deliverables for the Health Inequalities Theme Group, set milestones and identify subgroups of people to lead each deliverable.

Progress

  1. Next theme group meeting – group will discuss
    • Agreeing ways of working across departments
    • Share department workplans (to identify work already planned to fill evidence gaps)
    • Develop joint workplan, with subgroups identified to deliver each task
    • Review progress towards workplan regularly, and report progress to EHSSG Steering Group
    • Theme Group to task sub-groups to progress each of the actions in the work plan (Aims 2-6) and report back.

Aim two

Harmonise methods.

Progress

  1. We can raise and discuss examine methodology issues and agree a consistent approach as far as possible and appropriate as well as Share mapping of evidence gaps, and agree joint priorities. First priority will be to consider how we report changes in inequality trends over time, particularly for the Department of Health and Social Care annual report.

Aim three

Ethnic inequalities.

Progress

  1. This will be highest priority topic for collaborative working. Different approaches and data sources will be considered for producing life expectancy/mortality rates by ethnic group. We will examine methods for calculating measures of hospital admissions by ethnic group and agree a consistent methodology.

Aim four

Identify priority areas for development and develop plans for areas identified.

Progress

  1. The impact of COVID-19  on health inequalities continues to be high priority. The group will ensure that we coordinate with other inequality issues that arise

Aim five

User engagement.

Progress

  1. The group will consider the benefits of undertaking joint user engagement activity on health inequality outputs when appropriate.

Aim Six

Organisations will share details of planned work in advance, including indicative release dates.

Progress

  1. Organisations will update at each theme group meeting (approximately every three months)

Contact

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

Members

Member’s list coming 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.

Progress

  1. Ongoing – 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.

Progress

  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.

Progress

  1. Paused – Waiting on a suitable replacement for the current system (NOMIS)

Aim four

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

Progress

  1. Ongoing through monthly meetings.

Aim five

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

Progress

  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.

Progress

  1. No progress to report yet.

Contact

For further information contact Sarah Caul, Office for National Statistics on GSS.Health@ons.gov.uk.

Members

Member’s list coming soon

Aim one

Understanding the impact of Covid on smoking statistics for users

Progress

  1. There has been an impact of the pandemic on all the smoking statistics to a greater or lesser extent, so the aim is to investigate the impact and provide some guidance and interpretation to users.

Aim two

Coincide release on smoking statistics for 2022/23

Progress

  1. Previously the group had co-ordinated release on the same day of Statistics on Smoking (NHS Digital), Adult Smoking Habits (ONS and PHE), Smoking Status at the Time of Delivery (NHS Digital) and an update to the Local Tobacco Control Profiles (PHE) for June 2017 and July 2018. This was accompanied by a joint press release produced by NHS Digital with input from ONS and PHE.
  2. Due to the impact of the COVID pandemic, publication timescales got delayed and out of sync. The group plan to review the publication timescales for 2022/23 and aim to coincide where possible.

 Aim three

Reduce duplication

Progress

  1. Smoking related deaths and hospital admissions are being produced by NHS Digital (detailed national level estimates) and PHE (local level estimates). NHS Digital and OHID will review the methodologies used and aim to reduce the duplication.

Aim four

Remove or justify and explain methodological differences

Progress

  1. The group previously held a workshop which included members of group and other interested parties on how data is gathered in surveys and reported on. A paper was then written recommending to harmonise some survey questions, however this work was then put on hold due to the pandemic. The group will review this paper in light of any changes required post pandemic and any other developments.

 Aim five

Provide data for policy monitoring and development

Progress

  1. The group will review if there are any potential data impacts arising from the Independent Review of Tobacco once it is published.

Aim six

Increase user engagement

Progress

  1. An external user from each of academia, a charity and a local authority presented to the group in 2018 on how they use official statistics on smoking and any concerns

Contact

For further information contact Kate Bedford, NHS Digital on GSS.Health@ons.gov.uk.

Members

Kate Bedford (NHS Digital, Chair)

Sharon Thandi (NHS Digital)

David Connelly (NHS Digital)

Martin White (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)

Mark Cook (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)

Mike Jecks (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)

Mathew Stubley (Department of Health and Social Care)

Joel Moffat (Department of Health and Social Care)

Matthew Birkenshaw (Department of Health and Social Care)

Alison Walker (Department of Health and Social Care)

Rabiya Nasir (Office for National Statistics)

James Tucker (Office for National Statistics)

Alison Brookman (Office for National Statistics)

David Mais (Office for National Statistics)

Rani Nandra (HM Revenue and Customs)

Tamish Khullar (HM Revenue and Customs)

Thomas Crowther (HM Revenue and Customs)

Aim one

We will improve signposting of Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC) statistics across the various producers by producing a grid of A&E data publications and where they can be found. This will be published on the GSS Health webpages and on our own websites.

Aim two

We will improve the accessibility and coherence of UEC statistics by:

  • aligning monthly Emergency Care Dataset (ECDS) statistics and quality indicators with NHS England’s monthly A&E performance data
  • producing a joint NHS Digital and NHS England annual A&E report
  • beginning to publish ‘winter’ data all year around

Progress

The joint NHS Digital and NHS England annual A&E report is now in place. We will continue to look for ways to make improvements to the report.

NHS beds data, previously part of winter weekly publication, is now published monthly all year round.

Aim three

We will improve the content of UEC of statistics to address user needs by:

  • looking to extend the current ECDS publication – this includes adding more detailed analysis from ECDS, workforce data, and information about health inequalities
  • producing a more coherent, connected publication of winter data – this would include linking in data collected by NHS Improvement and UKHSA

 Aim four

We will find more proactive methods of increasing our user engagement

Aim five

We will link into work that is currently being done on UK comparisons of performance data.

Contact

For further information contact Paul Steele or Chris Evison, NHS England and NHS Improvement on gss.health@ons.gov.uk.

Members

Paul Steele (NHS England and NHS Improvement, Chair)

Chris Evison (NHS England and NHS Improvement)

Ian Kay (NHS England and NHS Improvement)

Julie Stroud (NHS England and NHS Improvement)

Michael Barnes (NHS England and NHS Improvement)

Kerry Evert (NHS England and NHS Improvement)

Dominic Gair (NHS Digital)

Helen Hughes (UK Health Security Agency)

Matthew Makins (Department for Health and Social Care)

Jessica Walkenden (Office for National Statistics)

Hamish Young (Care Quality Commission)

 

Last Updated: August 2022