Consultation on changes to NHS Digital Prescribing and Medicines statistical outputs

Closed 18 May 2018

Opened 30 Mar 2018

Feedback Updated 6 Jul 2018

We Asked

We asked for your support in developing our existing publications to align with the NHS BSA data releases and expand and increase the usability of prescribing data as new data sources become available.

You Said

The responses received in the main supported our proposals with one response stating our proposals “need to be bolder!”. 

The only concern raised was about the CCG level prescribing to be discontinued. However, although NHS Digital are discontinuing supplying the data in it’s current format through iView, the NHS BSA will continue to provide CCG level data as requested. We will also work together to determine how to make richer CCG level data available to the public in the future.

You highlighted the following key points in response to our proposals:

  • Support eliminating confusion by merging similarly based publications
  • Essential to keep up with system changes (both NHS and Data)
  • Need to make use of more flexible, accessible and up to date data
  • Improvements in accessibility may generate more interest
  • Topic themed alignment would allow a bigger platform for media coverage to be developed

Therefore, we will take the following steps to support these proposals as detailed in the We Did section.

We Did

CCG level prescribing in iView to be discontinued

The CCG level prescribing data in iView was updated for the last time in June 2018. CCG level prescribing data will still be available from the NHS BSA through their Information Services Portal (ISP) or by requesting the data direct from them. The CCG and older PCT level data currently published in iView will still be available for reference purposes until 2020.

Merge Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA), and the Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community into one annual publication

The Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community is a National Statistics series that mainly repeats and expands the information made available earlier in the year as part of the Prescription Cost Analysis National Statistics series. Following the user consultation and through analysis of usage information and discussion with users, we have identified the user base would have its needs well met by the extra information being released earlier as tables of data, together with information around quality, rather than waiting for a second report to become available with more in depth commentary that repeats previously released figures.

In June 2018 we will publish the last in the series of the Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community. This will be the set of appendix data tables without the contextual commentary and analysis.

In March 2019 the PCA publication will be the single National Statistics publication containing:

  • A set of data tables analysing the latest calendar year of data
  • A set of ten year trend data tables
  • A summary set of percentage changes for the latest year and last ten years by BNF section
  • The set of appendix tables and the ‘Free and charged prescribing’ tables that are normally incorporated in the Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community publication
  • A data quality statement with supporting definitions

We aim to in the future:

  • Introduce age breakdowns and patient numbers
  • Produce granular analysis of PCA data below England level

General Pharmaceutical Services to be published sooner

The General Pharmaceutical Services publication, which is also a National Statistics series, will be brought forward from November to August 2018, further benefitting users through the earlier release of data.

Prescribing of Diabetes to align with other diabetes outputs

The Diabetes publication will move from August to November. This is to align its financial year based data with the latest financial year based data from QOF and the National Diabetes Audit. In addition the publications will all fall on or around World Diabetes Day helping to increase the focus on all the relevant Diabetes data available from NHS Digital.

Prescribing Costs in Hospitals and the Community to move to new data sources

The aim over the coming years is to transition the report to new data sources that are becoming available. The primary care prescribing component will be sourced from the NHS BSA’s new ePACT2 system which brings a number of data improvements, the main one being that prescribing by Dentists will also be included to ensure the whole of primary care prescribing is captured in the costs.

The HPAI data set from IQVIA will continue to be used for secondary care reporting however we will look to add more contextual information alongside it on medicine costs as a new NHS secondary care medicine collection becomes available over the next 2 years.

The result will give users a more comprehensive set of data on the cost of medicines paid by the NHS. There will be a step change in the figures over time as we move to the new data sources, however the aim will be to engage with our customers again at this point in time and create a continually improving publication as these new data sets become available.

Practice Level Prescribing in England to remain the same

NHS Digital will work with the NHS BSA to align their release dates for these products resulting in NHS Digital publishing the data in a more timelier manner in the future.

NICE Technology Appraisals in the NHS in England (Innovation Scorecard) to remain the same

Developments to the Innovation Scorecard are overseen by a Strategic Working Group and Technical Working Group with representatives from key stakeholder organisations such as NICE, Office for Life Sciences, NHS England and industry representatives. Work is on-going with users to improve usability and functionality in association with delivering the requirements from the Accelerated Access Review.

Prescribing Measures to be revised

NHS Digital will work with the NHS BSA to revise the ASTRO-PUs and STAR-PUs with the aim of publishing updated figures later in the summer of 2018.

A review of the ADQs will also take place to determine whether these should be revised or replaced with a more appropriate prescribing measure by the end of the year.

 

Overview

NHS Digital produces around 300 statistical publications a year. These draw on survey data, administrative data, data from clinical systems and aggregate collections. To meet the specific needs of our users, they cover diverse areas including population health, NHS activity, social care, performance, outcomes, workforce and resources.

The NHS Digital Prescribing and Medicines team publish 8 series of National Statistics, Official Statistics and data releases each year. The Code of Practice for Official Statistics promotes the production and dissemination of official statistics that inform decision making and supports the continuous improvement of those statistics. The Code applies to all UK bodies that produce official statistics. Compliance with the Code is a statutory requirement on bodies that produce statistics that are designated as National Statistics.

The increased use of the Electronic Prescription Service and developments by the NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) mean existing prescribing datasets are becoming richer with patient related information. Developments as part of Personal Health Care 2020 (PHC2020) will result in a mandated NHS central collection of secondary care medicines data that will become available by 2019. These new and enhanced datasets will expand the existing statistical publications and increase the usability of prescribing data.

However, we must better prioritise our current services while maintaining our statutory obligations to produce high quality products and services at a lower cost. It is inevitable given the scale of the challenge that we will have to do some things differently, stop some statistical work or scale back where products are not adding the maximum value for money.

Why We Are Consulting

We are proposing a series of changes to our existing Prescribing and Medicines data and statistical outputs which will help us to better prioritise resources while developing our statistical products to align with the NHS BSA and better meet the needs of our users. We are making the changes necessary to enable us to produce high quality official statistics suited to support a modern health and care system and help make better decisions.

The aim of this consultation is to seek views on the set of changes we hope to make in the near future and also to inform users of some medium to longer term plans for further improvements. All responses collected will be treated confidentially in line with the Data Protection act, personal details of respondents will not be associated with any published results of the survey or shared with anyone outside of NHS Digital.

When we consider the results, greater weight will be given to external users and to those who identify themselves or the organisation they are submitting on behalf of. The consultation should take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.

What Happens Next

The responses to this consultation will be analysed and a preferred option will be adopted by NHS Digital as soon as is practically possible.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • GP Practice Managers
  • Clinicians
  • Managers
  • Commissioners
  • IG Specialists
  • IG Administrators
  • IT Specialists
  • Internal Audit Representatives
  • Dental Managers
  • Pharmacy Managers
  • SHA Cluster IG Managers
  • PCT Cluster IG Managers
  • Patients
  • Carers
  • Members of the Public
  • Local Authority IG Managers
  • Social Care Providers
  • Public Health Organisations
  • Informatics Specialists
  • Auditors
  • Academia/Research
  • Prison Health
  • Hosted Secondary Use Teams
  • NHS Business Partners
  • Commercial Third Parties
  • Qualified Providers - Clinical
  • Qualified Providers - Non Clinical
  • Community Pharmacies
  • CIOs
  • Finance Managers
  • Health IT System Suppliers
  • Laboratory Staff
  • Pathology Staff
  • Laboratory Medicine Staff
  • Trust/Practice IT Staff
  • Senior Information Risk Owners
  • 111/999 Call Handlers
  • Clinicians
  • Customers of the South Devon NHS Service Desk
  • Information providers
  • Heads of Information
  • Information Managers
  • IT Quality Assurance Managers
  • Data Quality Managers
  • TRUD SNOMED CT Subscribers
  • Clinical Coding Professionals
  • Clinical Coding Auditors
  • Coding, Finance & Information Managers
  • TRUD NICIP Subscribers
  • Health Care Resource Groups (HRG) Users
  • National Caesmix Office
  • Registered Users of Submission Portal
  • Acute Non Foundation Trusts
  • Acute Foundation Trusts
  • Care Non Foundation Trusts
  • Care Foundation Trusts
  • Ambulance Non Foundation Trusts
  • Ambulance Foundation Trusts
  • Mental Health Non Foundation Trusts
  • Mental Health Foundation Trusts
  • GP Practices
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
  • Dentists
  • Special Health Authority (SpHA)
  • Independent and Voluntary Sector
  • NHS Care Homes
  • NHS Commissioning Board
  • Trust Development Authority
  • Arms Length Bodies
  • Commissioning Support Units (CSU)
  • NHS Commissioning Board
  • NHS England
  • NHS England - Local Area Teams
  • Social Enterprises
  • Hospices
  • Specialist Palliative Care Services
  • Eye Care Services
  • BAAS Customers
  • Local authorities
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Acute Care
  • Community Care
  • Secondary Care
  • Ambulance Services
  • Out of Hours Services
  • Social Care
  • Secondary Use Organisations
  • Voluntary Sector Organisations
  • All Secondary Healthcare Providers
  • NHS England Commissioning Teams
  • All Users
  • All Users of This Statistical Information
  • Cancer Services
  • All Users of the Commissioning Data Sets
  • All Users of National Data Sets
  • Overseas Visitors Managers
  • Acute Non Foundation Trusts
  • Acute Foundation Trusts
  • Care Non Foundation Trusts
  • Care Foundation Trusts
  • Mental Health Non Foundation Trusts
  • Mental Health Foundation Trusts
  • GP Practices
  • Independent and Voluntary Sector
  • IT System suppliers
  • Private Health care provider
  • Information Teams
  • Clinicians
  • Data Consumers
  • System Suppliers
  • Event attendees
  • NHS Digital Staff
  • Other NHS Organisations
  • All NHS organisations
  • Heads of Profession
  • Career Managers
  • Lorenzo CoP
  • NHS Trusts
  • Community pharmacies
  • Junior doctors
  • Senior ICT mangers
  • EPS stakeholders
  • ODS - Stakeholders
  • ODS - Organisation Contacts (OC1s)
  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Subject Matter Experts
  • South Devon NHS Service Desk customers
  • SSD National Helpdesk Exeter
  • SSD National Service Desk

Interests

  • Data Releases