Share your views on the draft data strategy

Strategy aims to ensure leaders have up-to-date data to make decisions and help the health and care system run at its best.

5 July 2021

The Department of Health and Social Care is consulting on a new draft data strategy, which set out plans to harness the potential of data in health and care, while maintaining the highest standards of privacy and ethics.

We welcomed the strategy, commenting that it supports and builds on the hard-won gains during the pandemic. But we also called for further commitments to fund the new data infrastructure and to ensure transparency and trust are built with citizens.

  • Its vision is for leaders to have up-to-date data to make decisions and help the health and care system to run at its best.

    This will be achieved by:

    1. Integrating local care systems with a culture of ‘interoperable by default’
      • Each integrated care system to have a basic shared care record in place to enable sharing of key information between GP practices and NHS trusts (2021)
      • Comprehensive shared records to be delivered in line with the commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan so that authorised staff for other care partners can easily and appropriately access data regardless of where care is delivered (2024)
    2. Building analytical and data science capability
      • Creating partnerships between academic researchers and frontline analytical teams to enhance the exchange of skills and knowledge (ongoing).
      • Developing an analyst workforce observatory, including an annual census to inform how to better harness the professional skills of analysts and data scientists, and support their professional learning and development by 2022.
      • Developing and rolling out a unified set of competency frameworks aligned to the Government Analysis Function skills by 2022.
    3. Working in the open
      • Publishing the first transparency statement setting out how health and care data has been used across the sector by 2022.
      • NHSX will agree a target data architecture for health and social care outlining how and where data will be stored, shared and sent (winter 2021)
    4. Sharing data for wider purposes
      • Introducing legislation in due course to create a statutory duty for organisations within the health and care system to share anonymous data for the benefit of the system as a whole.
      • Using secondary legislation to enable the proportionate sharing of data including, where appropriate, personal information for the purposes of supporting the health and care system without breaching the common law duty of confidentiality.
    5. Working with wider partners
      • Working across central government, including with colleagues in MHCLG, DfE, the Cabinet Office, MoJ, DWP and across the Devolved Administrations to improve appropriate data linkage to support people’s health and wellbeing (ongoing).

Have your say

The strategy is under consultation until 23 July and we’re keen to hear your views on four broad areas to shape our response:

  • Do you agree or disagree with any of the key points made in our initial statement?
  • Do you have any good practice examples to share, which can help inform the implementation of the strategy? Examples of innovations around data which have been developed or evolved during the pandemic to improve practice and collaboration.
  • Does this feel realistic? Has your local system already achieved this, or how far away is your local system from achieving this? Your perspective on how realistic the strategy is, and the ambitions set out specifically to integrate local care across systems to be interoperable by default, including for all ICSs to have a basic care record system in place between GP practices and NHS trusts by the end of 2021.
  • Do you have examples to share where you have already done this around the use of data and digital? Your feedback on how we can build trust with citizens so implementing this strategy is successful.

Please share any examples and feedback via email by 16 July, and we will ensure they are incorporated into our response.