DHSC Consultation on health and social care data in England

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This consultation, closing on 5th March 2024, outlines a number of changes to reduce or stop publishing various health and social care data sets currently published by various bodies (such as NHS England, the ONS etc.) One proposed change that the sector is particularly concerned about is discontinuing publication of the sight loss registers. As such, RNIB is preparing to submit a joint response, that Visionary is intending to add it’s name to, unless there are any strong objections.

A summary of the changes is outlined below:

Discontinuing publication of the sight loss registers

  • For the Registered Blind and partially sighted people data publication, there is a proposal to “Explore alternative data sources for this publication to reduce the data collection burden on providers and reduce supporting commentary.”
  • While the consultation doesn’t give any details of any alternative data sources, we’re incredibly concerned that discontinuing the publication of the sight loss registers would be a backwards step.
  • Discontinuing publication of the sight loss registers, would mean the sector would lose insight on the prevalence of registered blind and partially sighted people in England. It could even disincentivise Local Authorities to maintain the registers.
  • Given the information provided in the consultation is so vague, it’s important to respond, so we can seek further clarity.

Reducing the frequency of the “Outcomes of disabled people” ONS data release

  • While this publication is currently paused, as it is under review, there is a proposal to change the publication frequency to biennially, from annually.
  • This is one of the only disability-focused outputs produced by the ONS, which includes insight by impairment type.
  • Reducing the frequency of this data collection means there will be less data about people with sight loss and it would be harder to understand trends over time.

For more details, please see the full consultation at: Health and social care statistical outputs – Gov.UK

The deadline is 5 March 2024.


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