Provision of Communication Equipment and Support: Part 4 of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016: progress report 2019

Report on progress since commencement of Part 4 of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 - Provision of Communication Equipment in March 2019.

Annex G

Reference to Previous Reports and Recommendations on Data and Evidence

The reports mentioned highlighted the need for improvements in the data available on the AAC population in order to best meet their needs and assess the extent to which this was being done.

Publication Key Points
A Right to Speak: Supporting Individuals who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (Scottish Government, 2012) Included the following recommendations:
  • The use of standardised data collection within routine practice as well as the regular use of goal setting and outcome measures will support gathering further information on the effectiveness of AAC and AAC interventions.
  • National statistics to be gathered by relevant agencies to support future gathering of cost effectiveness data.
Data collection systems used in Scotland of relevance to AAC service delivery (commissioned by NHS Education Scotland, 2013) (informed 'Now Hear Me' report below) The report drew on an online survey for NHS speech and language therapists, local authority education and social work staff and third sector organisations involved with people with communication support needs who potentially may use AAC. Found that:
  • Although some useful information is collected, it is ad hoc, not easily aggregated and frequently incomplete.
  • The majority of respondents from all sectors were unable to easily identify the numbers & nature of service users currently accessing high-tech electronic equipment for spoken communication.
  • The findings of this study reinforced the need for improved data collection systems to enable services to evidence and improve quality, efficiency and effectiveness.
  • One stakeholder suggested that adding one extra field to an existing caseload management database was a minimal change which could provide useful additional information where an electronic system was already in place.
  • "A system that allowed collection of comparable data within and across board areas would be fantastic" (quoting a Speech and Language Therapist).
Now Hear Me: Report on the implementation of the recommendations of A Right to Speak to support Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) in Scotland. (NHS Education Scotland, 2015)
  • The report noted that a datasets research project had been completed, with two reports concluded, and that work towards nationally agreed datasets for AAC across all sectors in Scotland was under way.
  • There was no evidence that work initiated in A Right to Speak and reported in NowHearMe, was progressed further to the report in published in June 2015.
  • Work recommenced early in 2017, with direct engagement from the Scottish Government, Assisted Communication policy team with a report author. An early draft of a dataset for the consideration of wider networks, was developed in discussion with the author of the SLT survey, and taken forward in parallel with a proposal paper to the National AAC Advisory Group.
  • A presentation to the e-health national clinical leads group in May 2017, alerted them to the legislation, impending new duty and to the data gaps.

Despite the recommendations in these reports and engagement efforts across all sectors and agencies, there is still no readily available information on the numbers and characteristics of people who use AAC in Scotland.



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