Consultation opened on 22 October 2015. Closing date 14 January 2016.


Information and Analysis Directorate (IAD), within DHSSPS is consulting on proposed changes to seven national statistics and three official statistic publications. Scaling back these publications or disseminating the data in a different way will allow additional resource to be directed to value added intelligent analysis of health service data. This will assist in the understanding where future demands and pressures are likely to arise and how best resources can be targeted to address these demands.


Consultation description

Information and Analysis Directorate (IAD), as part of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) within the DHSSPS, is responsible for the production and publication of a range of health and social care statistics for Northern Ireland, covering hospital activity, community services, public health, patient experience, family health services and workforce statistics. These statistics can be accessed from the statisitcs and research section of the DHSSPS website.

As part of the process of managing health and social care in Northern Ireland it is important not only to have reliable and robust data on the performance of the health service, but also to understand where future demands and pressures are likely to arise and how best resources can be targeted to address these demands.

In order to allocate additional resource to carry out this value-added intelligent analysis, the department have carried out a detailed review of the content and frequency of all existing statistical publications and have identified a number of areas where publications could be scaled back or where the data could be disseminated in a different way.

As a result it is proposed that:

  • the commentary in the quarterly Emergency Care*, Inpatient*, Outpatient*, Diagnostic and Cancer* Waiting Times publications is reduced to key points and any non-target related content is removed
  • the quarterly Child Protection* and Carers’ Assessments publications are reduced to key points accompanying the quarterly data tables, with more detailed information and commentary contained in annual publications
  • the annual Mental Health and Learning Disability* (hospital statistics) publication is no longer published with information unique to this publication made available as downloadable data tables
  • the annual Smoking Cessation publication is replaced with a key findings infographic or summary document
  • the annual Firework Injury Statistics* publication is discontinued from 2016 along with the associated data collection

Seven of the publications affected by these changes (denoted by * above) are designated as national statistics and are governed by the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 and the code of practice for official statistics.  Within the code, the protocol on user engagement requires all changes to a national statistic to be subjected to a public consultation.

In compliance with this protocol, the department are carrying out this consultation which covers the proposed changes to the seven national statistics publications and the three official statistics publications.

You are invited to provide feedback on these proposals using the response template below no later than Thursday 14th January 2016.

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