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NHS structural upheaval threatens already variable quality of essential data

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 20 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e4991
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1London

A nationwide review of how data are collected across health and social care services in England has found a wide variation in quality.

The review, from the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care, warns that the structural upheaval in the NHS sparked by the Health and Social Care Act could worsen the quality of the data that are essential for planning and commissioning services.1

However, greater involvement of clinicians could help to drive up quality, it says.

Clinicians often do not get the opportunity to check local data submitted for national use and are not always aware of how the data will be used. Yet all the evidence indicates that “clinician engagement and validation of data considerably improves its quality,” says …

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