Health and Social Care

We are interested in statistics and data concerning the health of the UK population and on the health and care services provided in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Our focus includes information on health care provision, social care provision, health status and disease, disability, cause of death, and health and safety at work. We are also interested in the personal, social, economic, and environmental factors influencing health.

Our vision is to support collaboration between statistics producers who are linking and analysing data about cost, outcomes and people’s lived experiences – of health and social care. We also champion the joining-up of data on health and social care with data on other aspects of people’s lives, including crime, justice, education, employment and welfare. This allows the production of richer and more relevant data and statistics to generate new insights, enhance public debate, and increase decision-makers’ confidence in the evidence before them.

Current and recent activities


Systemic Reviews:

  • As a follow-up to the Joining Up Data for Better Statistics systemic review, we have been working with NHS Digital, data users and other interested organisations to identify ways to ensure that the full potential of English health data can be realised. We will publish an update on this work in December 2019/ January 2020.
  • Our review of Adult Social Care statistics across the UK began in 2018. It aims to improve the quality, consistency and coherence of these statistics by focusing on user needs and putting them at the core of our objectives. We are currently in the reporting phase of the review, having published a report outlining the key findings for Wales in June 2019. We convened round tables in both Scotland and England to discuss how improvements in the quality and value of social care statistics can be taken forward in the future. We are now compiling our key findings for England and Scotland with an aim to publish in December 2019/January 2020. We also plan to share UK-level summary findings in December 2019 / January 2020. A visual summary of our project is available here.
  • Our systemic review of Mental Health Statistics began earlier in 2019. We are now in the stakeholder engagement phase of the review, initially focusing on statistics covering England. As well as consulting with a range of stakeholders ourselves, we have also engaged an external supplier to carry out a large proportion of this work. We aim to publish our findings by summer 2020, before then expanding the review to cover the other UK countries.

Public comment on health and social care statistics:

Other areas of interest:

In November 2018 we published an article reviewing the handling of NHS performance measures as they relate to official statistics. We called for the statisticians and analysts to be involved in the multi-disciplinary teams devising the evolution of these performance measures. NHS England is co-ordinating a Clinical Review of NHS Access Standards and has recently published an update. We welcome the update’s transparent explanation of their process and findings so far. We will continue to monitor the changes as they relate to the subsequent design and publication of official statistics, advising NHS England as necessary. We are keen to hear what users think about the proposed changes to these statistics.

We are aware that recent trends in life expectancy across the UK are attracting a lot of interest and public debate. We welcome the collaborative approach being taken by statistics producers across the UK who are analysing the possible drivers for this. We will continue to monitor the extent to which these statistics are serving the public good by helping a wide range of users to understand and respond to these trends.

Contact: Caroline Jones, Catherine Bromley, Sarah Whitehead and Vicky Stone


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