Authored article

Reviewing Public Health England's data collection

Professor Keith McNeil, Chief Clinical Information Officer for Health and Care, on his review of Public Health England’s data collection.

Keith McNeil

As chief clinical information officer for Health and Care, and chair of the National Information Board, I was asked to independently review Public Health England’s (PHE) data collections to determine whether they should and could be managed in future by NHS Digital.

Following extensive engagement with stakeholders across the health and care system, including staff in both PHE and NHS Digital, I am very happy to publish my review of Public Health England’s data collection and data management functions.

How these recommendations are implemented is crucial. Colleagues in the Department of Health, PHE and NHS Digital have worked closely to develop a high-level implementation plan, which is published alongside my report. I am pleased that this shows that real momentum is behind implementation, and that a joint working group is being set up with representation from PHE, NHS Digital and the Department of Health to collaboratively oversee the work.

There is a real opportunity to gain maximum value from data, including maximising functionality and linkages across the system. Implementation of the recommendations in my review will help to rationalise data collections across NHS Digital and PHE, securing best value for the taxpayer.

Key to implementation will be using this as an opportunity to enhance the functionality of data collections wherever possible and to ensure that all data and information collected is translated into practical intelligence that improves health outcomes.

Published 17 November 2017