The winter is a busy time for these working in public well being and the well being providers.
This coming winter, there may be potential for respiratory or infectious ailments reminiscent of COVID-19, flu, RSV and norovirus (the “winter vomiting bug”) to coincide. We will additionally anticipate that there could also be climate occasions, reminiscent of significantly chilly spells and flooding.
Moreover, the present cost-of-living disaster could have an effect on the flexibility of susceptible folks to maintain heat and keep wholesome. Well being safety hazards like these require a coordinated response throughout the general public well being system to make sure the well being of the nation is safe and guarded. Statistics and evaluation are an necessary enabling software for this.
UKHSA publishes a spread of statistics to assist inform policy-makers, well being professionals and most people concerning the newest proof referring to a spread of public well being issues. This weblog units out what we plan to publish this winter and the way typically. It additionally explains why we could take totally different approaches to apparently comparable conditions.
However first, why can we publish statistics?
Statistics are a basis of our society. They assist selections made at each stage, from nationwide and native authorities to people of their on a regular basis lives. They’re a part of the lifeblood of democratic debate.
UKHSA goals to publish statistics which might be reliable, of excellent high quality and of worth. The statistics we publish are match for goal and measure the issues that almost all must be measured. We’re clear about what we’ll publish and when, and concerning the strategies and knowledge sources used to compile the statistics.
We imagine this offers all our customers – together with ministers, policy-makers, well being professionals and most people – confidence that our statistics could be relied upon to assist them make the choices. Our approaches align with the requirements and rules set out within the Code of Practice for Statistics and regulatory guidance on the clear use and launch of knowledge.
Deliberate statistical publications
Over the winter interval, we plan to publish common statistics about:
- Influenza and different respiratory ailments
- Different infectious ailments reminiscent of norovirus
- Affected person well being care-seeking exercise (syndromic surveillance)
- Vaccine uptake
We’ve compiled a comprehensive calendar to deliver collectively all of the related details about the deliberate statistical or analytical publications within the coming months, together with their protection and frequency of publication. This augments the statistics release calendar the place our official statistics are introduced a minimum of 4 weeks prematurely of publication. We hope that this transparency round what we plan to publish and when, will present the data totally different customers want for planning functions.
Advert hoc statistical publications
It’s seemingly that we are going to complement these deliberate publications with advert hoc publications. Advert hoc publications are an necessary software for transparency as a result of they permit us to launch statistics when they’re wanted and in response to particular conditions.
For instance, we’re prone to publish statistics about chilly weather-related extra mortality following the winter season.
We are going to give as a lot discover as attainable of upcoming advert hoc statistical publications by asserting them on Statistics at UKHSA, the one-stop store for details about our revealed statistics. Nevertheless, the very nature of those advert hoc publications means they might be produced and revealed at brief discover.
Completely different approaches to apparently comparable conditions
UKHSA statistics about totally different ailments are typically revealed with totally different frequencies and to totally different ranges of element. This will mirror how rapidly the state of affairs referring to a specific illness could change. In some conditions, a weekly replace gives invaluable data to allow decision-making; in different instances a month-to-month replace is ample.
Syndromic surveillance displays traits in affected person well being care-seeking exercise. In UKHSA we undertake every day evaluation of syndromic data to grasp the patterns of exercise and search for uncommon adjustments that may inform us of potential public well being issues.
Throughout winter, syndromic surveillance reviews are revealed weekly to assist decision-making in UKHSA and different components of the well being sector. Nevertheless, the evaluation goes on year-round, enabling us to offer assist to numerous public well being incidents reminiscent of heatwaves, air air pollution episodes or conditions the place the chance of illness transmission is excessive, reminiscent of at mass gatherings.
Surveillance techniques change over time, typically in response to vital public well being occasions such because the 2009 flu pandemic and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Among the approaches developed through the COVID-19 pandemic could grow to be long term surveillance instruments, they usually could allow totally different ranges of reporting sooner or later.
We’re additionally utilizing the data gained by the COVID-19 pandemic, together with person suggestions, to develop our statistical outputs. For instance, we’re working with the ONS to ship a small-scale flu survey to run alongside the Coronavirus (COVID-19) An infection Survey (CIS).
How one can assist us
We’d love your suggestions on this weblog, our statistics and our new launch calendar. Please get in touch.