Health and social care - data strategy: 2024 update - progress and priorities

An update on progress in the first year of Scotland's first data strategy for health and social care and future priorities.


Scotland’s first Data Strategy for Health and Social Care, ‘Greater access, better insight, improved outcomes: a strategy for data-driven care in the digital age’ published in February 2023, set out the vision and ambitions for improving the use of health and social care data to deliver the best care possible for the people of Scotland.

The vision of the Strategy is to make best use of data in the design and delivery of services and is underpinned by three core ambitions:

  • To empower the people of Scotland by giving individuals clear and easy access to, and the ability to manage and contribute to, their own health and social care data where it is safe and appropriate to do so.
  • To empower those delivering health and social care services to have the confidence and ability to gather, safely use, and share data, to sustainably improve services and ensure outcomes are being met.
  • To ensure fit for purpose data is readily accessible through secure and safe means for planning, research and innovation. Data will be used for the benefit of individual wellbeing and the public collectively, including the development of new and innovative ways of working, improving care, developing new treatments and technologies.

The Strategy’s commitments and deliverables set the strategic direction for how we want to work, and the steps we will take to implement the change required to improve the way in which data is stored, shared and used across the health and social care sector. Over the past 12 months work has been underway to move towards the vision and ambitions and deliver on the actions set out in the Strategy. The development and delivery of the Strategy is overseen and governed by the Health and Social Care Data Board. To progress towards the vision and ambition of the Strategy, the Data Board agreed to the formation of two sub-boards:

  • The Data Delivery Sub-board was formed to allow COSLA and the Scottish Government to effectively monitor progress of deliverables and programmes of work associated with the Strategy. The Sub-board will oversee delivery and provide a single point to triage data work that has been commissioned for the health and social care sector.
  • The Data Standards Sub-board was established to allow COSLA and the Scottish Government to set out the preferred standards for use across the health and social care sector to drive a common approach to the way in which data is captured to facilitate interoperability.
  • This Data Governance is also supported by programme specific boards such as the Social Care Data Intelligence Programme Board and the GP Editorial Board.

This update will provide an overview of our key achievements in 2023-24, how they have moved us towards our vision, and provide an indication of some of our priorities for the coming year. Further details of our priorities for improving our use of health and social care data are confirmed in our Delivery Plan for Digital Health and Care, updated annually at



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