The Department of Health COVID-19 Statistical Reporting Team has won a prestigious UK-wide Analysis in Government Award for its work on the COVID-19 Dashboard.
The awards celebrate the achievements of the Analysis function within Government across the UK. One hundred and eighteen nominations were received across five categories. Against stiff competition from a range of expert statistical teams, the Department’s Information Analysis Directorate (IAD) picked up the top award in the Impact category for the COVID-19 Dashboard.
The award recognises the major impact the Dashboard has had through its use by the public as well as its influence on decision-making during the pandemic.
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “In the fight against this pandemic, the public and decision-makers need accurate, up-to-date information. To understand and anticipate demand on health and social care services, we need a robust operating picture of the virus, how it’s spreading, where it might spread next and how that will affect our health service.
“Our statisticians in IAD worked under tremendous pressure and at considerable pace to develop the COVID-19 Dashboard, which has helped us to track the progress of the virus and its devastating impact on our citizens and on the health service. I commend the excellent work of the team in IAD. This award is very well deserved.”
The Dashboard provides a range of key COVID-19 statistics every day on the number of positive tests, deaths reported, hospital admissions and discharges, outbreaks in care settings as well as gender and age breakdowns. The statistics are presented at geographical levels including Local Government District and by Trust and hospital site.
Between 1 April and 9 December 2020, the COVID-19 Dashboard had almost 925,000 unique page views. In addition to this, there were almost 50,000 unique page views of the daily EXCEL and PDF files each month. During November 2020, there were almost 190,000 unique page views of the dashboard and the EXCEL and PDF files. There were also 950,000 unique viewers of the Department of Health’s COVID-19 related web pages, including the Dashboard, with over 880,000 of these from the UK and 36,000 from the Republic of Ireland. Almost 11,500 viewers were from the United States and 5,000 were from Australia.
Dr Eugene Mooney, Director of Information and Analysis, said: “The work of IAD has long been essential to inform decision-making and monitor the delivery of the Department’s priorities. Every day we deliver data, evidence, analysis, research and evaluation which is vital to make critical decisions. In 2020, our work has never been more important.”
By consolidating information from across the HSC, the Dashboard gives an accurate view of the metrics needed to track and understand the current spread of the virus, and the capacity in the healthcare system to deal with it.
The Department’s Permanent Secretary, Richard Pengelly commented: “The data allows decision-makers to answer questions about the response to COVID-19 and to explore the impact of different decisions. It means that we can ensure that we’re in the best position possible to deal with demand, resources and staffing capacity.
“The work of IAD has proven to be invaluable throughout the pandemic and again highlights that all of our colleagues across Health and Social Care, even if they’re not in a direct patient facing role, make a vital contribution to our collective efforts.”
Notes to editors:
- The Department of Health's COVID-19 Dashboard can be accessed online at www.health-ni.gov.uk
- For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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