Thank you for your letter of 1 November commending the Office for Statistics Regulation’s report, ‘2022 update: lessons learned for health and social care statistics from the COVID-19 pandemic’. The report highlights the enormous work that has taken place throughout the UK in producing and reporting statistics on the impact of the pandemic and the innovative way this complex information was made available to the public in a timely and transparent manner. The report rightly points to the public’s expectations that all statistics should be as comprehensive, timely and well presented as those in the various COVID-19 dashboards and that these should be well explained with proper contextual information. I note the support and engagement of DoH officials in the production of the report and fully endorse its content and findings. I was particularly pleased to see the recognition given to NI specific developments, including the Encompass programme, the work of the NI Mental Health Outcomes Framework Group and the success of the department’s COVID-19 and Cancer Waiting Times Dashboards.
I agree with the report’s findings that there is still work to be done to fully implement the recommendations of your 2021 report. DoH statisticians, and other departmental officials as required, will continue to work closely with your team to deliver on these. We will continue to support cross-UK collaborative efforts to bring harmonisation and consistency to Health and Social Care statistical outputs.