Working together to improve health and social care statistics

Baby visits doctor

The COVID-19 pandemic placed health and social care statistics into the headlines, encompassing a wide range of vital topics such as mortality, vaccine uptake, mental health and other health impacts. Nearly four years on from the first news reports of the ‘coronavirus’, the interest in health data and statistics has continued to grow. Julie Stanborough explains how we are working collaboratively with other data producers to improve health and social care statistics, and how you can have your say.

Health and social care statistics shine a light on the challenges facing our population. They inform policy makers and provide evidence for health interventions at a local and national level. As well as government, these crucial statistics serve a breadth of other users, including charities, local authorities, academic researchers and more. During the pandemic, our statistics delivered insight to inform responses to the evolving public health emergency. The Office for Statistics Regulation’s COVID-19 lessons learned report noted the remarkable work of statistics producers, working quickly and collaboratively to overcome new challenges. The report calls for us to build on the statistical achievements of the last three years and ensure even stronger co-ordination of health and social care statistics.

Working together

ONS is a proud member of the Health and Social Care Statistics Leadership Forum, which brings together statisticians from across the health data system in England. As well as ONS, it includes representatives from Department of Health and Social Care, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, NHS England, NHS Business Services Authority, and the UK Health Security Agency. The group is working together to consider the health statistical system as a whole and ensure that our statistics are valuable, efficient, and reflect current user need. As part of this work, the group has launched a public consultation on health and social care statistics, which will gather valuable user feedback and help us shape health and social care data in the future.

Have your say

Health and social care statistics encompass a diverse and complex range of topics, from primary and community care to child health. The consultation is seeking feedback from users on how clear and valuable they find the overall health statistics system, as well as responses to proposals on specific products. Responses will help ensure health and social care statistics meet the needs of everyone for years to come.

The consultation covers over 200 statistical products; however, we recognise that not every user is interested in statistics on every aspect of health and social care. So, to help users navigate the consultation we have structured it into different topic areas. This means that users only need to respond to topic areas that are of most relevance and interest to them. We welcome all types of users to respond to this consultation – whether in academia, government, the local or national healthcare system, industry or interested members of the public.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing at 11:59pm on Tuesday 5 March 2024.

The scale and ambition of this consultation represents the collaborative effort of statisticians to improve our work and deliver valuable data and statistics for the public good, building a more coordinated understanding of the nation’s health.

Julie Stanborough

Julie Stanborough is Deputy Director for Data & Analysis for Social Care & Health