Earlier this month, Public Health England officials reported of the data challenges faced by the reorganised public health service. Here are the detailed descriptions of those data challenges.
Paul Cosford, Medical Director Public Health England reportedly told MPs on the House of Commons Health Committee that data on staffing are in a quite good position. But people still have doubts and uncertainties on the stability of PH workforce as they have significant reductions in trainees for public health specialists in the posts.
The Public Health England is trying to understand all the details on the situations of its Workforce database as the public health workforce is facing downward slant in last years.
The organisation is planning to implement a national minimum data set for the public health workforce for coming years. The organisation hopes the plan shows all the roots of the situation more clearly and in great detail.
Public Health England has countless data and its related questionnaire that the organisation will never have enough capacity to analyse them. It confirms shortage of data analysts in the new public health system. John Newton the chief knowledge officer of the organisation had said once that there would never be enough people to analyse those data.
One another problem of those officials are their accessibility to the data. They need those ad hoc data to do their daily jobs, which is not good enough for local research. Public health directors have hard time getting into the data on health care activities and services commissioned such as patient screening and vaccination.
Another legal barrier for public health officers are the identifiable personal health information of the patients. This health information is passed to local government on a strict controlled base. Though this problem has been said as manageable and could be exiled with good local relationship between the NHS and local government bodies.
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