Dear Lewis


We have today published our response to the Health and Sport Committee’s inquiry looking at the future of primary care in Scotland (see annex).

Statistics published by public sector bodies should be produced in a trustworthy way, be of high quality, and provide value by informing answers to society’s important questions. Our submission outlines our view that primary care statistics in Scotland do not currently deliver public value because many important questions cannot currently be answered.

The Information Services Division of NHS Scotland (ISD) has worked with general practices across Scotland to develop SPIRE, a unique asset for Scotland’s health data landscape. It has overcome significant challenges to deliver a system that has the potential to transform understanding of primary care and support a wide range of information needs in a way that has not been possible before now. However, major information gaps remain that need to be addressed to ensure that decisions about the future of primary care in Scotland are evidenced-based, open to scrutiny, and can answer the questions people have about how primary care contributes to improving health and wellbeing. We have made some recommendations for ISD to help meet these aims.

I look forward to seeing the conclusions of your inquiry. I am copying this letter to Scott Heald, Head of Profession for Statistics, ISD.

Your sincerely

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation

The PDF copy of this letter contains an annex.

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