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18.02.15

NHS Scotland to publish performance data in transparency effort

The NHS in Scotland is to start publishing weekly A&E figures and a range of other information in an effort to become more transparent.

Health secretary Shona Robison has announced that the data will be published on a new website called NHS Performs.

From next month, quarterly death rates, wards closed by norovirus and cases of healthcare associated infections broken down by hospital will go online, alongside weekly A&E waiting time figures. Details of cancelled operations, staffing levels and how busy hospitals are will then be added in the months ahead.

The weekly publishing of A&E figures will bring Scotland in line with England. It currently publishes the data monthly, and until recently it was only made available every three months. Statistics will detail how many patients waited longer than a four hour target to be admitted to hospital, discharged or transferred, with figures also available for how many waited more than eight and 12 hours.

It follows repeated calls from Labour to publish A&E statistics on a weekly basis. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats were lining up to force a vote in Holyrood on the issue this week.

Robison said she was keen to ensure the NHS in Scotland was not only the most transparent health service in the UK, but also in "Europe and beyond".

She said: “The regular collection of year-round A&E statistics first began under this government, and I welcome the move to the weekly publication of A&E figures which will make NHS Scotland even more accountable to the public and patients who use their services. The new weekly Scottish A&E statistics will also contain more detail than the statistics that are published by NHS England.

“The official statistics division of the NHS in Scotland, ISD, already publish and analyse a huge amount of NHS performance data. But we must go further and ensure that the data is not just published but is also readily accessible and understandable, which is why we are developing a new NHS Performs website to bring together the many performance statistics together at either a hospital or health board level. ISD will be inviting feedback on how information can be best presented to aid people’s understanding of NHS performance.”

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