Other Data and Evidence Challenges
These include the following:
- NHS Information Systems: We are aware that even among NHS service providers, data about AAC service users and services is recorded in different electronic data systems which do not link to each other, which are not accessible to all professionals involved in a person's care and which vary across NHS Boards. There have been examples in the past where some practitioners have been entering information on two separate systems e.g. Disease register related system and a patient management system. There is also continuing use of paper records to record some relevant data. The consistency and quality of data recorded is variable.
- Developing a minimum dataset: Data items had previously been circulated to the National AAC Advisory Group and the Speech and Language therapy managers' network to gain their feedback on a minimum dataset for AAC clients. Feedback was helpful, however it is clear that there are still a number of challenges in improving the data available on the AAC population.
- NHS community health services IT system: a "Once for Scotland" approach for the community and replacement for MiDiS is not currently being taken forward.
- Service Providers: AAC clients could be known to one or more of a range of different health, care, education and other services and independent agencies and practitioners with the risk of clients being recorded by multiple services on fragmented data and duplicated recording.
- Professional groups: AAC assessment and service provision could be undertaken by one or more professional groups across these different services: e.g. Allied Health Professionals (AHP's) such as speech and language therapists; special education teachers and support from a range of social care workers. Within the NHS, there is no nationally agreed approach beyond the AHPOMs (refer to paragraph 2.4.3) currently in a phased roll out, to the collection of AHP data or detailed information on where and how AHP services are delivered across all health and social care sectors.
- Stakeholder groups: Stakeholder groups continue to seek transparency on how the duty will be evidenced, monitored and evaluated. Meanwhile services and staff would want any information to be drawn from existing data systems and do not want to record the same information more than once. They are concerned that labour intensive data collection could adversely impact on operational service delivery. This is particularly challenging in an environment where staff may need to undertake manual counting of paper records.
- Focus on Outcome based Care: Clinicians are mindful of the shift towards outcomes based approaches, how in future this will be recorded, and the need to take a forward looking approach to build in such capacity now, in anticipation of future reporting requirements. However, to support access to all who may benefit, outcomes for those individuals can only be measured when all are identified and known to services.