Ed Humpherson to Roger Halliday: Use of COVID-19 prevalence rates by Scottish Government

Dear Roger

Use of COVID-19 prevalence rates by Scottish Government

On 3 July First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in her COVID-19 speech, claimed that the prevalence of the virus in Scotland is five times lower than it is in England. The sources used to underpin this claim have been difficult to identify. The explanation provided to my team at the Office for Statistics Regulation was not clear. You have now explained to us that the Scotland prevalence figure was sourced from the Scotland’s COVID-19: modelling the epidemic (issue no.6) 25 June and the England prevalence figure was sourced from modelling work done by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, using a UK estimate as a proxy for England. The UK estimate for the dates in question was not published and was provided to you to allow for this comparison.  A UK prevalence figure is available on the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine website  however this is a real-time report with an unclear update schedule.

As the UK/England prevalence rate was not available publicly, we understand that you then compared the upper prevalence rates published in Scotland’s COVID-19: modelling the epidemic (issue no.6) 25 June and the Office for National Statistics’ COVID-19 Infection Survey pilot: 25 June. This was done to corroborate the figures from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and referred to externally as the other data were not publicly available.

When unpublished figures are quoted in the public domain, we expect that this information is shared with the media and the public in a way that promotes transparency and clarity. There are lessons to be learnt in this case, with different data sources being quoted to the media and to us. We expect that any figures used are appropriately sourced, explained and available in the public domain.

Furthermore, it is important to recognise that a comparison of COVID-19 prevalence rates is not straightforward. If it is to be undertaken, the results and the uncertainties should be communicated transparently. We do not think that the sources above allow for a quantified and uncaveated comparison of the kind that was made. In future if such comparisons are made, we would expect to see sources made publicly available and a clear explanation of the limitations and associated uncertainty.

The Office for Statistics Regulation will continue to monitor Scottish Government’s use of statistics and data.

Yours sincerely

 

Ed Humpherson

Director General for Regulation

 

Related Links

Miles Briggs MSP to Sir David Norgrove – Use of COVID-19 prevalence statistics by Scottish Government

Sir David Norgrove to Miles Briggs MSP – Use of COVID-19 prevalence statistics by Scottish Government

 

Mark Pont to Roger Halliday: Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020 statistics

Dear Roger  

SCOTTISH INDEX OF MULTIPLE DEPRIVATION 2020 STATISTICS  

 I am writing to you following our review of the Scottish Government’s Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020 (SIMD) statistics against the Code of Practice for StatisticsThe statistics were reviewed against the three pillars of the Code: trustworthiness, quality and value.  

SIMD statistics are an important tool for identifying the most disadvantaged areas and for supporting decisions about addressing local needs. They are widely used by central and local government and community organisations to target their services. The statistics have been considered as part of a wider review of the indices of deprivation statistics in Great Britainalongside our compliance checks of the statistics produced by the Welsh Government and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) 

I am pleased to confirm that these statistics should continue to be designated as National Statistics, subject to the required actions that we describe later in this letter 

We found several positive examples in the way Scottish Government engages with others to produce the statistics: 

  • The statistical bulletin contains a mix of infographics, maps and high level commentary which draw out the key findings from the statistics. The bulletin uses data visualisation effectively to compare individual domains with the overall SIMD for regions, which helps illustrate to users that areas do not have to be deprived across all measures to experience deprivation.  
  • The Scottish Government has a clear understanding of the uses and users of the statistics and engages regularly with domain experts and key stakeholders to inform the development of the statistics. The frequency of SIMD is tailored to user need as the team told us that it can be a burden on local authorities and third sector organisations, who used SIMD in their own analyses, if SIMD is updated too regularly. 
  • The team has sought to bring out the public value of SIMD and its impact on local areas in Scotland, as part of the materials it publishes. The bulletin contains case studies from Scotland’s Regeneration Forum and the University of Glasgow’s Dumfries Campus, to demonstrate the relevance of the statistics to users.  
  • The team spoke highly of its relationship with the other nations. The ‘four nations group’ meets regularly and works collaboratively to make guidance and presentation across the deprivation statistics more consistent. The definition of deeprooted deprivation, introduced previously to SIMD, has been adopted by the Welsh Government as a result of this collaboration.  

We have identified several areas where we consider that some improvements would benefit users in understanding how SIMD is put together and would ensure that SIMD fully meets the requirements of the Code of Practice relating to trustworthiness and public value of the statistics:  

  • We commend the Scottish Government for seeking to contextualise SIMD by using case studies throughout its products and in particular, to demonstrate its relevance beyond looking at rural areas. However in some instances, the case studies appear to dominate the products and the data are somewhat lost. For example the SIMD Illustrated Story, in comic-book style, is the second link on the landing page before any technical information. While a valuable example of use, some of the content is about the area being illustrated – its potential, and recent developments, for example – and with such prominence risks the perception of the independence of the statistics and the statisticians. We consider that it would be better for this to have lower prominence on the website. 
  • The methodology report has not been updated for SIMD 2020 and the landing page currently directs users to technical guidance for SIMD 2012, despite a comprehensive methodology report having been produced for SIMD 2016. The 2012 guidance does not illustrate to users how the SIMD is constructed. Scottish Government should produce an update for SIMD 2020, bringing out the relevant elements of the 2012 and 2016 guidance as appropriate, and improve the signposting of information relating to SIMD.  
  • The team told us that it faced delays in receiving the income and employment data for SIMD 2020 as a result of needing to establish contacts with data suppliers and the relevant data management teams. To build resilience in the team, Scottish Government should look to document how the legal gateway for accessing the data was determined, and who was involved in this process, so that this can be referred to in the next iteration of SIMD.  
  • The ability to combine and compare indices of deprivation across the devolved nations continues to be an area of interest for some users. Each of the producers we spoke to said they deal with queries relating to this on a regular basis, despite their joint effort to set out in the statistical releases how the statistics can and can’t be used. Scottish Government, as part of the ‘four nations group’, should look to ensure that appropriate resource is devoted to developing updated UK-wide guidance and insight. 

Our Labour Market and Welfare team will continue to engage with you and your team in the coming months to follow up on areas that have been highlighted for improvement. In particular, we think it would be helpful if the improvements to the technical guidance and signposting of information were made by September 2020We would like to thank the team for its engagement and cooperation throughout the review process.  

I am copying this letter to Elizabeth Fraser, the responsible analyst.    

Yours sincerely 

 

Mark Pont 

Assessment Programme Lead  

 

Related Links

Mark Pont to Siobhan Carey: Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure

Mark Pont to Sandra Tudor: English Indices of Deprivation 2019 statistics

Mark Pont to Glyn Jones: Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 statistics

Scott Heald and Roger Halliday response to Ed Humpherson: The use of unpublished statistics in Scottish Government news release

Dear Ed,

The use of unpublished statistics in Scottish Government press release

Thank you for your letter of 8 July relating to the use of an unpublished statistics on routine serology (antibody) testing in a Scottish Government news release on 23rd June. This was an oversight, for which we apologise. As you are aware, there is very high demand for statistics relating to COVID-19 and the statistical teams in Public Health Scotland and Scottish Government are producing a large volume of statistics every day. On this occasion, the fact this statistic had not been published was missed by the teams in both organisations.

Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland have been working closely during the COVID19 period to ensure we are presenting as complete and coherent a picture on COVID-19 in Scotland as early as possible. We do recognise the importance of the statistics on antibody testing and the need to get these into the public domain. These data are currently still in development but, given the public focus on these statistics, Public Health Scotland will release an initial adhoc report on antibody testing on Wednesday 15th July. This will be published alongside the Public Health Scotland weekly COVID-19 report.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Scott Heald & Roger Halliday

 

Related links

Ed Humpherson to Scott Heald and Roger Halliday: The use of unpublished statistics in Scottish Government news release

Ed Humpherson to Scott Heald and Roger Halliday: The use of unpublished statistics in Scottish Government news release

Dear Scott and Roger

The use of unpublished statistics in Scottish Government news release

On 23 June, a news release ‘COVID-19 antibody testing’ was published on the Scottish Government website detailing a letter written to NHS boards from the Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith about the use of serology testing for COVID-19 in Scotland. Within the news release, it reported that ‘so far, 4,431 antibody tests, for surveillance purposes, have been completed’. There is no reference to the data source of the figure quoted in the news release.

To date, there has been no publication of routine serology (antibody) testing in Scotland. As such, this figure cannot be verified. This is unacceptable for a figure of such importance used in a government news release.

We understand that wider plans are underway around the data collection and publication of serology information in Scotland. Nevertheless, our expectation, as set out in our public statement of 18 May, is that any data used publicly by Government should be published in an accessible form, with appropriate explanations of context and sources. Antibody testing data are of particular interest to the public and to ensure public confidence and equality of access, we urge you to publish the data quoted in the Scottish Government news release.

Yours sincerely

Ed Humpherson

Director General for Regulation

 

Related Links

Scott Heald and Roger Halliday response to Ed Humpherson: The use of unpublished statistics in Scottish Government news release

Compliance Check of Rural Scotland Key Facts

Dear Roger

 RURAL SCOTLAND KEY FACTS STATISTICS

 We recently conducted a review of the compliance of Scottish Government’s Rural Scotland Key Facts statistics against the Code of Practice for Statistics. We are pleased to confirm that these statistics can continue to be designated as National Statistics, subject to your team addressing the recommendations highlighted below.

We recognise the impact that key policy areas have on rural communities, and the importance of having high quality statistics that provide insight into rural Scotland and feed into mainstream policy development. We found various examples of good practice linked to the quality and value of the Rural Scotland Key Facts statistics. The Scottish Government’s Urban Rural Classification, which is revised every two years to maintain relevance, provides a standard definition of rural areas in Scotland and is applied to the most up-to-date data sources to produce the statistics. These provide a strong evidence base that allows policy areas specific to Scotland to be addressed. We commend the detailed, insightful commentary and accompanying charts and graphs which eases the interpretation of these statistics.

We have identified four areas where we consider your team could further enhance the trustworthiness, quality and value of these statistics:

  • Pre-release arrangements are not published on the Scottish Government website. Your team should record and publish the details of those granted pre-release access alongside clear justifications for access. We encourage the team to regularly review the list of recipients to keep it to a minimum.
  • A wide range of well-established data sources are used to compile the Rural Scotland Key Facts statistics. However, further information on the nature and limitations of these data sources, including changes to data sources, would help users better understand the quality of the statistics. We also encourage your team to clearly label data sources designated as National Statistics throughout the bulletin to ensure users are clear on the quality and value of each statistic.
  • We recognise that coherence of the Urban Rural Classifications across the UK is not possible due to the unique nature of each country’s population structure and policy needs. Within Scotland there are differing variations of the Classification that are being developed and used by other organisations to help answer different questions about rural Scotland. We encourage your team to continue to engage with these organisations and, where appropriate, to signpost different Classification variations within the publication to raise awareness of the different ways of defining rural areas in Scotland. This will ensure that the statistical picture is as clear as possible to all users.
  • Generally, the bulletin includes no indication of the level of uncertainty around the estimates, such as confidence intervals. We understand that the data suppliers quality assure the data and produce the estimates (by applying the Classification to their data) on the Scottish Government’s behalf. Where possible, we encourage your team to work with the data suppliers to enable appropriate descriptions of the level of uncertainty. Integrating this information with the bulletin would clarify to users that the statistics are estimates and help them interpret trends in the statistics.

We would like to thank your team for their positive engagement throughout this review process.

Our Agriculture, Energy and Environment domain lead, Job de Roij, looks forward to continuing to engage with your team on these and related statistics.

I am copying this letter to Neil Henderson and Stephen Smith, the responsible statisticians, and Alastair McAlpine, the Senior Statistician for Agricultural Statistics, at the Scottish Government.

Yours sincerely

Mark Pont

Assessment Programme Lead

 

Temporary exemption from Code of Practice for Scottish Government market sensitive publications

Dear Roger,

Thank you for your letter of 26 March 2020. I am happy to confirm the exemption from the Code of Practice for Statistics to permit an earlier release time for the Scottish Government’s market sensitive publications

Your decision is sensible and proportionate in the circumstances.

Yours sincerely

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation

 

Related Links:

Roger Halliday to Ed Humpherson (March 2020)

Ed Humpherson to Welsh Government (March 2020)

Ed Humpherson to NISRA (March 2020)

Scottish Government request to temporary change to timing of key Scottish economic statistics

Dear Ed

Proposed temporary change to timing of key Scottish economic statistics

You will be aware of developments at the ONS in respect of their plans to publish market sensitive statistics at 7.00 am.

Historically the Scottish Government has co-ordinated the publication of our labour market statistics with the corresponding release from the ONS and, if content, it would be our intention for that to continue.

Accordingly, I would be grateful if you could indicate your support for the Scottish Government moving the release time for our labour market publication Key Economic Statistics to 7.00 am in line with contingency arrangements being implemented by the ONS and in-line with the other Devolved Administrations. I appreciate that this represents a departure from the requirements of the Code, but consider it prudent as the releases complement one another and it would help ensure equal access for all.

We will of course keep this interim arrangement under review, in conjunction with colleagues at the ONS and in the other devolved authorities, and involve you as appropriate in any further developments.

Best wishes

Roger Halliday
Chief Statistician and Data Officer

Related Links:

Ed Humpherson to Roger Halliday (Scottish Government) (March 2020)

Welsh Government to Ed Humpherson (March 2020)

NISRA to Ed Humpherson (March 2020)

Devolved Labour Market Compliance Check

Dear all

STATISTICS ON THE LABOUR MARKET

I am writing to you following our recent review of the key Labour Market statistical reports for the devolved nations against the Code of Practice for Statistics. The statistics published by the Welsh Government, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) that we reviewed are:

The statistics have been considered as part of a wider review of labour market statistics, along with our assessment of UK employment and jobs statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). I am pleased to confirm that all three labour market reports should continue to be designated as National Statistics.

Labour market statistics are key economic indicators which are used by a wide range of users and are subject to high user interest. This review focussed mainly on the quality and public value of the data, statistics and supporting information. We recognise that the outputs we have reviewed differ between the three countries in terms of purpose, each team’s access to the underlying data and the time window available to produce them. These factors have been considered as part of our recommendations.

In reviewing the labour market reports, we found examples of clear supporting methodology information, effective sign-posting and presentation of uncertainty, which we detail separately for each country later in this letter. We have identified some common areas for improvement across the three producer teams, which also correspond to areas for improvements we’ve highlighted in our assessment report of ONS’s employment and jobs statistics. The recommendations in this letter build on those we have made to ONS and we encourage all four countries to continue to work together to ensure that labour market statistics across the UK continue to provide the necessary insights. In order to improve the quality and public value of these statistics, the teams should:

  • Consider how the statistics can be better presented to help improve users’ understanding of how the labour market is changing over time. We found some examples where the key labour market measures are defined but the relationship between these groups of people (for example, the unemployed and the economically inactive) could be more clearly explained. We encourage the three producer teams to also work with ONS to develop a way to understand the flows of people into, out of and within the labour market.
  • Build on existing collaboration between all the producer teams, including ONS, to enhance the coherence of labour market statistics. We found strong evidence of effective cross-producer collaboration through regular meetings and steering groups. However, discrepancies between the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Annual Population Survey (APS) data currently present issues with coherence of data sources. Greater collaboration could support a consistent approach in presenting data from the LFS or APS respectively and in turn, lead to a better read-across between the different countries’ statistics. This will require leadership and coordination from ONS and is highlighted in our assessment report of employment and jobs statistics (para 2.5). It could also prove an effective part of finding a solution to address the concerns raised by Scottish Government and Welsh Government about the future funding for APS which is explained in the ONS assessment report (para 1.9).

Welsh Government

  • Key Economic Statistics is well presented and the narrative provides relevant context to the statistics. The section on ‘Key quality information’ is appropriately detailed and provides useful information on data sources and methods. The bulletin includes links to supporting documentation and StatsWales data tables throughout. This could be further improved by signposting relevant sections from the ‘Key quality information’ within the main bulk of the bulletin to help aid understanding.
  • The statistics team has presented confidence intervals for the LFS estimates which provides some context for the level of uncertainty associated with the data. However, these are relatively inaccessible, and the language used in the narrative presents the latest figures as absolute, for example “The employment rate in Wales was x%”. This is particularly important when comparing data across the four countries, where estimated differences are not always statistically significant. Welsh Government should improve the way uncertainty is reflected in the narrative, following the lead of ONS as recommended in our assessment report, for example referring to the latest figures as estimates.
  • We were pleased to hear from the statistics team about its plans to potentially introduce a new bulletin covering protected characteristics in the labour market, which is an area of interest identified in its 2012 user consultation. We encourage Welsh Government to keep published statistical development plans up to date and to ensure users are aware of progress being made against these developments.
  • The statistics team told us that some of the main users of Key Economic Statistics go straight to the data tables to find the information they require and not the bulletin by default. We encourage Welsh Government to find out how its users engage with the various statistical outputs to ensure they remain relevant to users.

Scottish Government

  • The Labour Market Trends bulletin is easy to follow and we welcome the improvements that have been made to the presentation of chart headings and footnotes. The bulletin signposts to the new quarterly youth APS publication, which was previously included in the monthly LFS bulletin, as well as a number of ONS pages relating to the LFS. To improve clarity of the statistics, Scottish Government should look to expand on the methodology information within the bulletin itself.
  • The statistics team told us that the process for producing the monthly bulletin has largely been automated to ensure the statistics can be published at the same time as the ONS release. As a result, the narrative in the bulletin focuses on the latest figures and the change on the previous quarter or year. We would encourage the statistics team to consider how to bring out more insight from the statistics to improve their public value.
  • We welcome the work Scottish Government and ONS are doing to ensure uncertainty is properly reflected in the bulletin, as part of our recommendation in the assessment of employment and jobs statistics, to help users understand the precision of estimates. For example, the statistics team should avoid presenting figures as absolute in the headline
    infographic such as “x% of people aged 16 to 64 were in employment” and instead refer to the latest figures as estimates.
  • We were pleased to hear from the statistics team about its ongoing user engagement and its plans for developing alternative products for accessing the data to complement the ScotGov open data platform and to meet a range of users’ accessibility needs. The statistics team also told us that its economic statistics development plan is being updated to cover a wider range of economic statistics than in previous years. We would encourage Scottish Government to increase the visibility of its developments by publishing updates and outcomes of user engagement to highlight the good work they are doing in this area and to keep users informed of their plans and progress.

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency

  • NISRA’s Northern Ireland Labour Market report is engaging and comprehensive. The narrative is proportionate to the statistics and the ‘Further information’ section of the report is thorough in addressing the strengths, limitations and comparability of the data.
  • The presentation of uncertainty in the bulletin and supporting materials is effective, for example including statistical significance and confidence intervals of estimates, and we are pleased to hear the report is being used as a case study for presenting uncertainty by the Government Statistical Service’s Good Practice Team. To improve this further, NISRA should ensure comparisons between Northern Ireland and the UK also take into the account the level of uncertainty for the estimates.
  • The team carried out a user consultation of labour market statistics in 2019 and has published its planned developments in response. We would encourage NISRA to seek feedback on its progress against the developments and continue to collate feedback on its various statistical outputs.

We appreciate each of the teams’ willingness to engage with us in this review as well as the wider assessment process with ONS. We wish to thank them for taking on board our recommendations. Our labour market and welfare domain team will continue to engage with your teams over the coming months to discuss progress.

I am copying this letter to Melanie Brown (Welsh Government), Gayle Mackie (Scottish Government) and Cathryn Blair (NISRA), the lead statisticians.

Yours sincerely
Mark Pont
Assessment Programme Lead

Related Links:

Assessment Report: UK employment and jobs statistics (March 2020)

Assessment of the UK employment and jobs statistics (March 2020)

Statistics on Reported Road Casualties in Scotland

Dear Roger

STATISTICS ON REPORTED ROAD CASUALTIES IN SCOTLAND

As you are aware, we recently conducted a review of the Reported Road Casualties statistics produced by Transport Scotland against the Code of Practice for Statistics. The statistics have been considered as part of a wider review of the devolved nations’ road safety statistics, following our compliance check of Road Accidents and Safety statistics for Great Britain produced by the Department for Transport. This review comes at a time when some police forces in the UK, including Police Scotland, have adopted a new system (CRASH) for reporting road traffic collisions, an important step in improving both the timeliness and quality of the statistics. Our review considered the trustworthiness, quality and value of these statistics and their ability to confidently inform stakeholders, including the general public, about the safety of roads in their local neighbourhood or area.

I am pleased to inform you that these statistics should continue to be designated as National Statistics. We found several positive examples in the way that these statistics are produced and presented by Transport Scotland:

• Regular communication with users of the statistics through the Liaison Group on Road Accident Statistics – this has played an important role in implementing the new CRASH recording system and engaging with users during the rollout phase. Transport Scotland has worked closely with Police Scotland and the Department for Transport to ensure a smooth transition to the new system.

• Carrying out and publishing the results of a user survey in 2019 to gain an understanding of areas for improvement for all Transport Scotland statistics, reiterating the team’s efforts to engage with all its potential users. As a result of the user feedback, we are encouraged that the team is working on interactive visualisations and a statistical summary document to accompany the main publication. We look forward to seeing to what extent this improves accessibility to the statistics for a wider range of users, including new and non-expert users.

• The team has considered and clearly explained the limitations of the statistics to users. Specifically, this includes issues of under-reporting of road traffic collisions and contributory factors leading to road traffic collisions, both of which need to be considered when using the statistics.

• The way the statistics are presented, and the accompanying commentary, is clear and informative. The context provided to explain trends in the data, such as changes to road safety laws, aids interpretation and provides users with greater insights.

We have identified some areas where we consider that improvements could further enhance the public value of the statistics:

• Informing users of the upcoming changes to the reporting of road traffic collisions following the move to CRASH throughout Scotland. Whilst key stakeholders are aware of the move to a new reporting system, we recommend that the team publish an explanatory note before the release of the next statistical publication (due in June 2020) in order to provide all users with the necessary information. The team should consider how it can best make use of its website and social media to publicise this information to ensure that it reaches as many users as possible.

• Considering the implementation of a formal data sharing agreement between Police Scotland and Transport Scotland. Whilst to date, data submissions have been consistent and Transport Scotland has a strong working relationship with Police Scotland, establishing a more structured and long-standing data agreement, specifying details including the data content and provision schedule, could help to minimise the risk of data quality issues. We encourage the team to look to the Authority’s Quality Assessment of Administrative Data (QAAD) toolkit to support the continued improvement of quality management, including developing a formal data sharing agreement, and help the team to review the level of risk associated with the data quality of the new CRASH collection series.

• Analysing the overall number of road traffic collisions from the new CRASH system, alongside the results from the Scottish Household Survey and health records to better understand the overall rate of under-reporting. This analysis was previously carried out in 2010 and repeating it would give users an understanding of how under-reporting has changed over the past decade. The team could look to Department for Infrastructure and Department for Transport for recently published examples of similar analysis.

Our Travel, Transport and Tourism team will continue to engage with you and your team in the coming months to follow up on areas that have been highlighted for improvement. We would like to thank the team for their engagement and cooperation throughout the review process.

I am copying this letter to Andrew Paterson, the responsible statistician, and John Galilee, Head of Transport Scotland Analytical Services at the Scottish Government.

Yours sincerely
Mark Pont
Assessment Programme Lead

 

Related Links:

Mark Pont to Michael Thompson, Dept for Infrastructure (NI) (March 2020)

Mark Pont to Glyn Jones, Welsh Government (March 2020)

Mark Pont to Chief Statistician, Police Service of Northern Ireland (March 2020)

 

Adult Social Care statistics in Scotland report

Dear all

Today, we have published the findings from our review of Adult Social Care statistics in Scotland. We have also submitted a summary of the report to the Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee’s social care inquiry. I would like to thank you and your colleagues for their valuable input to this review.

Our report outlines various issues affecting the quality and value of adult social care statistics in Scotland that need to be addressed. Throughout our work on this review it has been clear that you all have a strong understanding of these issues and share many of the concerns that users raised with us. I would like to commend the work you have been doing to bring about positive improvements to adult social care data and statistics.

We all recognise that a major transformation of adult social care data and statistics will be needed to fully meet users’ needs and this will require more fundamental action. We have made recommendations in three strategic areas to support this:

  • Clearer responsibility for analytical leadership is required to scope and deliver local and national level improvements.
  • The imbalance in resources currently available for health service and social care statistics needs to be addressed.
  • Data systems need investment to improve the quality of existing datasets and to identify ways to capture new data to fill many gaps that users have identified.

We have asked you to work together to develop an integrated health and social care statistics action plan by July 2020 in response to the recommendations in this report. We appreciate that addressing these resourcing and investment recommendations will require commitments from senior leaders in your organisations and others with an interest in this sector. We will continue to use our voice to support your work and to advocate for transformational change of adult social care statistics in Scotland.

I am copying this letter to Angela Leitch, Chief Executive, Public Health Scotland and Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician and Data Officer, Scottish Government.

Yours sincerely

Ed Humpherson

Director General for Regulation

 

Related Links:

Adult Social Care Statistics in Scotland Report (February 2020)

Letter from Ed Humperson to Lewis Macdonald MSP, Convenor Health and Sport Committee  (February 2020)