We use and share the best available knowledge, data and intelligence protect and improve the health of the population of Scotland.
We use data and intelligence in our own work to ensure that what we do and how we do it is firmly rooted in the evidence.
We share actionable, accessible evidence so that decision makers, planners and practitioners across the country can take informed action.
Collaboration is key to our data and evidence work because it means we can link up different sorts of data and build a more effective understanding of trends, drivers and outcomes in public health. This includes:
- The Public Health Evidence Network – a collaboration between five organisations focusing on public health evidence in Scotland
- The Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO) collaborative with the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, the National Records of Scotland, the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit and the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory.
- Providing a single entry point and end-to-end support to researchers through our electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS)
Our data and intelligence
We have an important role in supporting evidence-based policy making at a national and local level across the breadth of the social determinants of health (housing, education, employment, social support, family income, communities, childhood experience, and access to health services). This includes:
- Providing data on geographical variation in the provision of health services and associated health outcomes through the Atlas of Variation
- Providing intelligence to support the commissioning and delivery of support and services that meet peoples’ long-term social and healthcare needs to enable people to live their lives as fully and independently as possible
- Building the evidence base and advocating for effective action on the social and economic determinants of the adverse mortality trends seen in Scotland and the rest of the UK since 2010
- Helping to inform the future design of care though our Scottish Burden of Disease study, which will produce 20 year projections of disease burden and estimates of how these could be modified by introduction of a range of interventions
Our aim is to ensure our data and intelligence is as useful, influential and impactful as it can be. To this end we will develop and implement a data science strategy to ensure we are connected to key partners across the UK in developing data science solutions (e.g. Data Lab, Turing Institute, Scottish Public Sector Analytical Collaborative).
This will set our strategic direction in what data we use, how we access it and the tools and technology we use to analyse it. It will include the development of synthetic data, use of predictive analytics, machine learning and increased use of spatial data.
In parallel we will work with partners to increase data sharing by improvements in information governance.
We are responsible for providing official statistics on health and social care in Scotland. This includes:
- prescribing data
- cancer survival statistics
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) waiting times
- Suicide statistics
As a provider of official statistics, we ensure that all our statistical publications comply with the three pillars of trustworthiness, quality and public value set out in law.