The winter is a busy time for these working in public well being and the well being providers.
This coming winter, there’s potential for respiratory or infectious illnesses equivalent to COVID-19, flu, RSV and norovirus (the “winter vomiting bug”) to coincide. We are able to additionally anticipate that there could also be climate occasions, equivalent to notably chilly spells and flooding.
Moreover, the present cost-of-living disaster could have an effect on the flexibility of susceptible individuals to maintain heat and keep wholesome. Well being safety hazards like these require a coordinated response throughout the general public well being system to make sure the well being of the nation is safe and guarded. Statistics and evaluation are an essential enabling instrument for this.
UKHSA publishes a spread of statistics to assist inform policy-makers, well being professionals and most of the people in regards to the newest proof referring to a spread of public well being issues. This weblog units out what we plan to publish this winter and the way usually. It additionally explains why we could take completely different approaches to apparently comparable conditions.
However first, why can we publish statistics?
Statistics are a basis of our society. They assist choices made at each stage, from nationwide and native authorities to people of their on a regular basis lives. They’re a part of the lifeblood of democratic debate.
UKHSA goals to publish statistics which might be reliable, of excellent high quality and of worth. The statistics we publish are match for objective and measure the issues that almost all must be measured. We’re clear about what we are going to publish and when, and in regards to the strategies and knowledge sources used to compile the statistics.
We imagine this provides all our customers – together with ministers, policy-makers, well being professionals and most of the people – confidence that our statistics will be relied upon to assist them make the choices. Our approaches align with the requirements and ideas set out within the Code of Practice for Statistics and regulatory guidance on the clear use and launch of information.
Deliberate statistical publications
Over the winter interval, we plan to publish common statistics about:
- Influenza and different respiratory illnesses
- Different infectious illnesses equivalent to norovirus
- Affected person well being care-seeking exercise (syndromic surveillance)
- Vaccine uptake
Now we have compiled a comprehensive calendar to convey collectively all of the related details about the deliberate statistical or analytical publications within the coming months, together with their protection and frequency of publication. This augments the statistics release calendar the place our official statistics are introduced not less than 4 weeks upfront of publication. We hope that this transparency round what we plan to publish and when, will present the knowledge completely different customers want for planning functions.
Advert hoc statistical publications
It’s doubtless that we’ll complement these deliberate publications with advert hoc publications. Advert hoc publications are an essential instrument for transparency as a result of they permit us to launch statistics when they’re wanted and in response to particular conditions.
For instance, we’re prone to publish statistics about chilly weather-related extra mortality following the winter season.
We are going to give as a lot discover as potential of upcoming advert hoc statistical publications by saying them on Statistics at UKHSA, the one-stop store for details about our printed statistics. Nevertheless, the very nature of those advert hoc publications means they might be produced and printed at quick discover.
Totally different approaches to apparently comparable conditions
UKHSA statistics about completely different illnesses are typically printed with completely different frequencies and to completely different ranges of element. This may mirror how shortly the scenario referring to a selected illness could change. In some conditions, a weekly replace supplies priceless data to allow decision-making; in different circumstances a month-to-month replace is enough.
Syndromic surveillance displays tendencies in affected person well being care-seeking exercise. In UKHSA we undertake every day evaluation of syndromic data to know the patterns of exercise and search for uncommon modifications that may inform us of potential public well being issues.
Throughout winter, syndromic surveillance experiences are printed weekly to assist decision-making in UKHSA and different elements of the well being sector. Nevertheless, the evaluation goes on year-round, enabling us to offer assist to varied public well being incidents equivalent to heatwaves, air air pollution episodes or conditions the place the chance of illness transmission is excessive, equivalent to at mass gatherings.
Surveillance programs change over time, usually in response to important public well being occasions such because the 2009 flu pandemic and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. A number of the approaches developed through the COVID-19 pandemic could change into long run surveillance instruments, and so they could allow completely different ranges of reporting sooner or later.
We’re additionally utilizing the data gained by means of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with person suggestions, to develop our statistical outputs. For instance, we’re working with the ONS to ship a small-scale flu survey to run alongside the Coronavirus (COVID-19) An infection Survey (CIS).
How one can assist us
We’d love your suggestions on this weblog, our statistics and our new launch calendar. Please get in touch.