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Health written question – answered on 27th June 2012.

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Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Liberal Democrat, Colchester

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve the quality of data (a) collected and (b) published by the NHS on the incidence of malnutrition; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow The Minister of State, Department of Health

In May 2012, the Government published its information strategy for health and social care in England, ‘The power of information’. A copy has already been placed in the Library and is available at:

The strategy sets a clear direction, ambition and next steps to transform the way information is used to improve health, care and outcomes with greater transparency, access for people to their own health and care records and a focus on better recording and sharing of core data by health and care professionals each playing a role in driving improved data quality.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre also has a pivotal role in improving the quality of health and social care data by assuring the quality of nationally collected data providing an assurance function, helping local organisations achieve their responsibilities in ensuring data quality, by:

working with both local and national organisations to develop a framework which outlines standards, assures and improves the quality of data; and producing their first national report during summer 2012. This will summarise the Information Centre's current data quality assurance activities and how they are developing their framework for wider roll out during 2013 and 2014.

The Information Centre will be required to collect or analyse information as directed by the Secretary of State or the NHS Commissioning Board.

The Information Centre will also be required to collect or analyse information as requested by Monitor, Care Quality Commission, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence or any other body specified in regulations, subject to the provisions of the Act or in regulations made under it.

Data quality has a direct impact on health and social care as patient care and safety depends on good quality data. Poor quality data can lead to flawed clinical, administrative and planning decisions, while improving data quality improves patient care and value for money.

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