From Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation, Office for Statistics Regulation to Scott Heald, Head of Statistics, Information Services Division, NHS Scotland.
Thank you for your letter of 6 July outlining the work you and your team have undertaken to address our concerns about the quality of A&E waiting times in Scotland, particularly around NHS Lothian. I am reassured that these statistics will continue to meet the high standards of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value we expect from National Statistics products and am therefore pleased to confirm the continued National Statistics designation of the monthly publication of A&E Activity & Waiting Times.
Specifically, you have explained that you have regular, open channels of communication with your data suppliers, which will allow any future concerns to be brought to your attention quickly; you have issued clear guidance for data reporting and will provide support to answer queries from your data suppliers.
I am pleased that, in your response to recommendation 2, you have explained the impact on the overall Scotland totals of the issue with NHS Lothian’s data. In your response to recommendation 3, you have described the work undertaken with NHS Lothian to ascertain the impact on the statistics about NHS Lothian’s performance and transparently published these descriptions in the data quality summary alongside the 3 July A&E waiting times release. You have also noted that your team will undertake more quality assurance following this investigation and you should continue to ensure that these activities are clearly explained in your published quality information.
I would like to thank you and your team for the prompt and open way you responded to our
Scott Heald to Ed Humpherson (July 2018)
Scott Heald to Ed Humpherson (March 2018)
Ed Humpherson to Scott Heald (Dec 2017)