Health and Social Care Data Board meeting minutes: September 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the health and social care data board on 05 September 2023

Attendees and apologies


  • Carol Sinclair (CS)

Board members

  • Alan bell (AB)
  • Jonathan Cameron (JC)
  • Susan Cloke (SC)
  • Euan Dick (ED)
  • Mel Giarchi (MG)
  • Roger Halliday (RG)
  • Scott Heald (SH)
  • Lisa Hill (LH)
  • Albert King (AK)
  • Eilidh McLaughlin (EM)
  • Lewis Ritchie (LR)
  • Alison White (AW)

Programme team

  • Ryan Anderson (RA)
  • Simon Crawley (SCr)
  • Alistair Hodgson (AH)
  • Gemma Wilson (GW)

In attendance

  • Miren Elena Beratarbide (MEB)
  • Nicola Cooper (CP)
  • George Crooks (GC)
  • Lucy Devlin (LD)
  • Alessia Morris (AM)
  • Shona Nicol (SN)
  • Alistair Rennie (AR)
  • Penni Rocks (PR)


  • Colin Birchenall (CB)
  • Ruth Griffith (RG)
  • Mavis Machirori (MM)
  • Jontahan Todd (JT)
  • Karen Hedge (KH)


Items and actions

Welcome, Introductions and Apologies. 

CS welcomed everyone to the nineth meeting of the Health and Social Care Data Board. 

Lucy Devlin (LD) attended on behalf on Ruth Griffith (RG) and Nicola Copper on behalf of Karen Hedge. 

Apologies from Colin Birchenall (CB), Ruth Griffith (RG), Mavis Machirori (MM) and Jonathan Todd (JT).  

Minutes and Action Log 

The board noted: 

  • minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 June 2023 were agreed as true and published on our website 

  • all presentations from the previous meeting have been issued to board members 

Outstanding actions: 

  • SL to produce a roadmap which outlines who will have access to data and the timescales for access. (Not possible to update at this time, will be advised at a future date.) 

RA provided a verbal update to action log item DHC DB 041, regards the ongoing protected characteristics work.  RA advised that work continues to progress and there is nothing substantial to update at this time. 

All other action items have been completed and are up to date. 

Data Transformation and Data Maturity in Health and Care 

Shona Nicol provided an overview of the Data Transformation framework and Data Maturity assessments undertaken across the public sector. 

The presentation covered: 

  • an overview of Data Maturity assessments and the Data Transformation framework,  

  • the findings from the Data Maturity assessments completed across the public sector and recommendations for how this can be applied across the wider health and care sector 

The board was asked: 

  • to discuss where this work could have the greatest impact within health and social care   

  • to consider and discuss how the recommendations outlined below can be applied across the health and social care sector 

  • recommended approaches to assess/improve data maturity across the health and social care sector are:  

    • opportunities for organisations to take part in the next Data Maturity cohort  

    • investigate the Data Maturity self-serve option (based on Data Maturity Cohort Programme)  

    • participate in other types of Data Maturity assessments such as those run by Local Government  

    • use the tools and workshops on offer to collect feedback and insights from a wide range of your workforce  

The board discussed: 

  • how Data Maturity overlaps with the ongoing work in the Information Governance Plan and the approach taken to Data Maturity in Local Government 

  • Local Government are looking at Data Maturity through an Information Governance and digital lens as it was felt that upskilling in this area was a core part of Data Maturity 

  • how taking a consistent approach across the public sector and linking in with the work of the National Information Governance plan could help with communication to engage organisations in the process of a Data Maturity Assessment 

  • how data maturity assessment toolkits can help smaller organisations who may not have the resources to fully complete this activity to ensure they are not left behind 

  • National Services Scotland (NSS) have agreed to take part in the upcoming Data Maturity assessment cohort to help them to develop a data culture and recognise data as an asset  

  • how learning from the Data Maturity assessments can be used to inform the next iteration of the data strategy  

The board agreed: 

Members of the Data Board will contact Shona directly if they wish to take part in the next cohort of the Data Maturity and Data Transformation exercise. 

Next steps: 

CS to reach out to Data Board members regarding setting up a short-term working group to take Data Maturity and Data Transformation forward. 

AK will provide feedback to Data Board regarding the lessons learned following participation in the upcoming Data Maturity cohort. 

Data for Future Pandemic Preparedness 

Roger Halliday provided an update on the review of the Scottish Data Approvals process.  

The presentation covered: 

  • an update on the review of the data approvals process for accessing data for research purposes 

  • the findings and recommendations from the review  

The board was asked: 

  • to consider and comment on the proposed changes to the Scottish Data Approvals process. These are: 

    • assurance of data projects should happen, but only once: a principle of "One project, one review". This includes introduction of an ethics assessment for all uses of data 

    • create a digital assessment and approvals process across panels 

    • review, simplify and digitize the application form, moving the form from open ended questions to fixed response and align with UK standard where possible  

    • establish a single triage of applications. Panel managers and topic experts would provide assurance on certain aspects of application to focus panel on assessing public value and privacy risks 

    • develop a risk based four-tiered decision-making process with half of the panel being public representatives, and move to online written comments back rather than panel meetings  

    • development of standard data use register by panels to ensure best practice in transparency and increase public trust  

    • ensure system of panels is funded and governed in ways they can improve incrementally  

The board discussed: 

  • whether ownership of this work sits with Digital Health and Care, Chief Science Office or Public Benefit and Privacy Panel and how can this be taken forward 

  • how this work can assist with linking health and care data with non-health and care data, including housing all aspects of the public sector data in a collaborative manner  

The board agreed: 

  • to set up a task and finish group to take the work of Data for Future Pandemic Preparedness forward 

Next steps: 

CS, LH, JC, AH, RA and GW to arrange a follow up discussion regarding the ownership of pandemic preparedness and taking this work forward. 

RH to set up a task and finish group with JC, LH, ED, SH, SC and AB to drive the work of Data for Future Pandemic Preparedness forward. 

Data for Insight - Winter Planning Update  

Mel Giarchi and Albert King provided an update on Near Time Data for Insight and how this will contribute to winter planning. 

The presentation covered: 

  • the Alpha provides the technology for the Data for Insights Service and the ability to run two Minimum Viable Product dashboards from mid-September (Social Care Dashboard and Winter Dashboard) 

  • technology for both dashboards is being put into place to provide a Near Time Data Services, building solutions which deliver outcomes and support the strategic ambition. Solutions have been selected to integrate well with underlying technology to simplify the user experience, minimise administration and ensure only trusted users access the products 

  • Social Care Dashboard 

    • the Social Care Dashboard has been built trailing R Shiny and Amazon Web Services are completing deployment of the technology to enable people outwith the Scottish Government to access the dashboard via Near Time Services 
    • following the go live in September we will further develop how we can integrate further improvements into the dashboard 

    • wider Near Time work is also progressing on integration of products this might be in R Shiny or another product like Power BI 

    • user engagement on the technology and the dashboard will be undertaken once access is made available.  

  • Winter Dashboard 

    • there are a range of indicators being stood up in a Winter Dashboard, which includes indicators that cover social care and indicators which are of interest to social care. some of these indicators will overlap with the Social Care Dashboard 
    • using the same technology as the Social Care Dashboard will provide an opportunity to see whether R Shiny or Power BI works best for the Near Time Service and dashboarding 

  • Data Development & Acquisition  

    • the technical solution will provide Health and Social Care Management Information (MI) in one location, which will be Seer2. Providing users with efficient, secure and properly governed access to this data using analytical tools  
    • we are trialling R Shiny and Power BI as part of the Alpha, to deliver a scalable, flexible and enduring service and to deliver a priority set of MI data/ indicators from those already available in Seer and from other key organisations 

The board was asked: 

  • to note and provide comment on the update on Near Time Data for Insight  

The board discussed: 

  • this is an example of moving towards a more common analytical tool and approach across organisations which is a commitment of the data strategy 

  • the importance of bringing this work to the Technical Design Authority to ensure this links in with the Technical Architecture blueprint that is being developed 

Next steps: 

MG to consider the standards being used in the data collections underway through the Data for Insight work. 

GW to consider how this work links with the Data Standards Sub-board.  

Information Governance Code of Conduct  

Alistair Rennie, Lisa Hill and Miren Elena Beratarbide provided an overview of the Information Governance Code of Conduct. 

The presentation covered: 

  • the progress to date on both the delivery plan and the business case for the development of an Information Governance Code of Conduct 

  • an overview of the risks, mitigations, timescales and the intended impacts of the Information Governance Code of Conduct 

The board was asked: 

  • to confirm that they are content with the timescales and intended impacts outlined for the development and implementation of the Information Governance Code of Conduct 

The board discussed: 

  • concerns with the timescales for completion and would like detailed Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for this work to be brought to the Data Delivery Sub -Board, providing clarity of what will be achieved in the short, medium and long term  

Next Steps: 

MEB to develop detailed KPI’s to bring to a future Data Delivery Sub-Board meeting to help clarifying what the Information Governance – Code of Conducts will achieve in the short, medium and long term.

Any Other Business 

Next Data Board meeting: Tuesday 07 November 13:00-15:30 

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