Latest from the Director General for Regulation

Collaboration and partnership will enable coherence within the health and care production system

It is fair to say that health and care statistics in England are produced in a complex system, with multiple organisations publishing different parts of the same picture [1]. This often leaves users knocking on several doors to find the information they need. Collaboration and partnership will therefore be critical for Government, in order to enhance the coherence of health and care statistics and data in England, as well as in the UK.

Since the health and care summit in July 2016 [2], I have been encouraged to hear of analysts in England building up theme-based networks across the different organisations in a bid to start collaborating more. I am also very pleased me to hear that collaboration and partnership across the UK came through as a key enabler of change at the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) conference in September 2016 [3]. All in all signs of progress can be seen in terms of collaboration, and I am hopeful that this will help enhance the trustworthiness, quality, and public value of health and care statistics.

When looking more closely at the statistical system, I am starting to see the efforts of collaboration paying off. For example, when the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England worked together to understand the spike in death registrations in the winter 2014/15, they were able to collaborate, playing on each organisations strengths, to provide further insight into this increase, which has then fed into 2016/17 plans for national and local level winter flu planning. [4] I think this is a great example of statisticians working together beyond the collect and count type of publication and has added real public value, this is exactly what the Authority wants from official statistics.

If you know of, or are part of, good examples of collaborations and partnerships related to the production of health and care statistics, please let us know (assessment@statistics.gov.uk). In the meantime my team and I will be keeping an eye out for good practice examples.

Quick Round Table update

Our 2nd Round Table event is scheduled in early December, shortly after we will publish what is discussed. As many of you will know, I thought the first went really well, with many of the leaders within health and care statistics agreeing with our agenda to enhance English health and care statistics to better serve the public good. I’m anticipating a productive discussion surrounding leadership, the key questions each organisation producing health and care statistics aim to answer, and also on the joint actions plans which were called for after the Health and Care Summit.

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation
3 November 2016


[1] Health and care statistical landscape: www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Annex-B-Health-Statistics-Landscape.pdf

[2] Health and Care Summit: www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/monitoring-and-assessment/monitoring/monitoring-work-programme/health-and-care-interventions/latest-from-the-director-general-for-regulation/

[3] More from less? Can we maintain and develop the quality and availability of health and care statistics at a time of austerity?’ Royal Statistical Society conference: www.statsusernet.org.uk/viewdocument/september-2016-invited-official-st

[4] Provisional analysis of death registrations: 2015 www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/provisionalanalysisofdeathregistrations/2015