Recommendation 258

Information methodologies

The Information Centre should continue to develop and maintain learning, standards and consensus with regard to information methodologies, with particular reference to comparative performance statistics.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre publishes, and keeps under regular review, the methodologies used for the calculation of national indicators and statistics.

To support this function the Health and Social Care Information Centre:

  • has introduced an assurance process for indicators on behalf of the Quality Information Committee (a subcommittee of the National Quality Board).  This process ensures that indicators are fit for purpose and is available as a service for any organisation to use.  The Health and Social Care Information Centre keeps indicators under review to ensure that, where improvements or quality issues are identified, learning is maintained and lessons implemented
  • adheres to principle four of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics which states, ‘statistical methods should be consistent with scientific principles and internationally recognised best practices, and be fully documented.  Quality should be monitored and assured taking account of internationally agreed practices’, and
  • publishes additional contextual data to help people use or interpret the data it publishes, including, for example, information about palliative care coding in the context of the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator.


The Health and Social Care Information Centre has been working with Health Education England regarding the implications for the new workforce strategy (Skill and Capabilities). As a result, the National Information Board Framework will make specific proposals about the need for workforce strategies to address informatics skills and capabilities.