As the earlier posting in this section (10th January) indicates NHS Digital is holding a consultation on its publication policy. The Health Statistics User Group would like to urge users of NHS statistics for England to either respond individually or to contribute to our response, or both.
You can respond individually using the link below or the attached word document. The closing date is Friday February 16.
If you would like to contribute to the Health Statistics User Group response, please put your comments in the attached word document and email them to Alison MacFarlane by the 15th February. (A.J.Macfarlane@CITY.AC.UK)
Summary of background
NHS Digital's statistical publications are currently released on every working day of the week except Monday, public holidays and days that follow public holidays.
We are aware that most other Government Departments and our equivalent organisations in the devolved administrations have set days on which they release their statistics each week. We are looking to explore users' views on whether such an approach would make our outputs more accessible. Our aim is to balance simplicity of release without slowing down releases now or as data provision speeds up.
We are starting a 6 week consultation today that will support NHS Digital in deciding whether to rationalise the days on which it publishes official statistics or continue to publish as it does now.
This engagement with users ensures that we are following best practice on the principle of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics 2009 around: "Publish statistical reports according to a published timetable that takes account of user needs."
We are consulting on two possible approaches, alongside a third, no change, option:
Option 1. Two set days each week - an approach where we publish all our monthly and quarterly statistics on one day of the week (for example Thursday) and all our annual reports or those with a greater period between releases on another day (for example Tuesday), spread across all weeks within a month.
Option 2. One set day each week for all reports - release all publications on a single day each week, spread across all weeks each month. This would be a simpler approach, but would result in more publications released simultaneously, both regular releases of monthly data and larger releases of annual reports.
Option 3. No change - releasing publications on every working day of the week except Monday, public holidays and days that follow public holidays.