Co-written with Hazel Dodds, Senior Nurse for the Scottish National Audit Programme (SNAP)

Today we published the latest of our annual reports from the Scottish National Audit Programme. Like all of our audits within SNAP, the reason for doing them is to improve the care patients receive. This blog aims to shine a light on how data informs good patient care across a range of health conditions, and raise awareness that this helps people to recover better and have a better quality of life – which is a cornerstone of public health.

The vision of SNAP is: To provide an internationally recognised health intelligence service which, by working in partnership with stakeholders to audit clinical care, plays a key role in promoting safe, effective and person-centred healthcare in Scotland.

It is widely accepted that good, accurate and robust data are necessary to allow NHS Boards to make decisions based on credible evidence and fact. At Public Health Scotland (PHS) we use data to measure against agreed clinical standards or key performance indicators, monitoring and taking action where practice falls short of the expectation described in the standard. SNAP is committed, on behalf of PHS, to working collaboratively with NHS Boards and others, providing intelligence and resources to make full use of data to continuously improve care and outcomes for patients. With the patient at the centre of everything we do, we aim to support a world-class public health system, with patients receiving the high quality care that they deserve, enabling them to live longer, happier and healthier lives at home or in a care setting near homes and communities.

SNAP maintains a wide range of nationally recognised, specialty-based clinical audits and registers involving a wide range of clinical, government and voluntary sector stakeholders. As well as the two reports published today they include:

  • Scottish Audit of Intracranial Vascular Malformations
  • Scottish Cardiac Audit Programme
  • Scottish Electro Convulsive Therapy Accreditation Network
  • Scottish Hip Fracture Audit (you can read our blog on this here)
  • Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group
  • Scottish Multiple Sclerosis Register
  • Scottish Stroke Care Audit
  • Scottish Trauma Audit Group

We run an annual governance process with NHS Boards to identify success, celebrate it and roll it out. We also identify areas for development with NHS Boards agreeing an action plan and timescales to improve. PHS works closely with NHS Boards to support them in delivering against their action plans and ultimately improving the care experience and outcomes for their patients.

Activities to date reflect many improvements in care and outcomes over the years. As a specific example, through the Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group (SICSAG), SNAP has transformed its systems to provide daily data to inform the response to the COVID-19 pandemic across Scotland. Since March 2020 it has been extracting data from intensive care units and high dependency units to monitor the number of patients in units with COVID-19, which has been actively used by Scottish Government to plan the national response and protect healthcare experiences.

Collection of data and timely reporting of outcomes against standards is essential to monitor and improve the care experience for patients and ensure better outcomes, leading to longer healthier lives lived within local communities. We would like to thank our colleagues in NHS Boards across Scotland for their support for SNAP and continued commitment and resilience to improve patient care.

If you would like to learn more about the work of any of the SNAP audits, go to the PHS website. From here you can find details of their individual websites and contact details for the teams who manage these projects.

To contact SNAP, email: phs.snap@phs.scot

Last updated: 14 September 2021