NHS Digital to bring together “accessible” GP statistics through data hub
Hub plans to pull together official figures and publish them over the next six months, though critics have reservations over what they claim is republishing existing statistics in a new place
Healthcare professionals, patients and others will shortly be able to view a range of statistical information on GP practices from across England in one place.
NHS Digital’s GP Data Hub plans to pull together published official figures in an accessible format and then publish them over the next six months.
The first stage of the launch will enable users to view statistics showing the number of patients registered at each practice and the number of people working at each practice.
The figures will also chart Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) data, which contains information on the percentage of people suffering from different health conditions at practice, regional and care commissioning group (CCG) level.
The statistics will measure how well each GP practice is performing in managing chronic conditions and public health concerns. The project will also feature statistics surrounding health and care of people with learning disabilities.
Figures in a recent report on the health and care of people with learning disabilities found they have poorer health and shorter life expectancy than those without such disabilities.
NHS Digital said the GP data hub will offer 77 different indicators linked to people with learning disabilities at the click of a button and will help public bodies easily monitor performance in identifying and addressing these issues.
The data hub will also allow patients to gain important statistics relating to their practice and compare them to neighbouring practices.
It will also help healthcare professionals more quickly analyse published statistics about GP practices to find the information they are looking for.
Dave Roberts, head of business and operational delivery for NHS Digital said, “We are delighted that the GP Data Hub will bring together a wide range of NHS Digital GP statistics into an easily accessible format.
“We see this as a really great visual tool for professionals and patients who are interested in finding out statistical information about their local GP practices and hope it will encourage more people to engage with what is going on in the primary care sector.”
However, pressure group MedConfidential had some reservations about the hub. It claimed that the new portal would not solve the wider problems of breaking down a more siloed approach to statistics relating to healthcare to ultimately provide a better understanding of where specific pressures or challenges exist in the NHS and wider public sector.
Phil Booth, coordinator at medConfidential said, "Whenever the Department of Health is faced with a hard decision, it has taken to announcing a website that doesn’t actually help.
“For addressing problems that cross boundaries within the NHS, it isn’t particularly helpful to just republish statistics in a place that requires an understanding of the NHS silos that produced them in the first place,” he said.