Information overload: reporting requirements on NHS trusts

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What we hope to achieve

Frontline teams, information teams and board sponsors devote substantial resources to meeting the information requirements of national bodies. This work will explore the reporting requirements of an NHS provider to understand what information needs to be submitted on information returns, how it is collected, what resources are required to produce it, and who is involved in its production and sign off. It will also examine how the information is used, what for and what value it delivers within the organisation itself. Through this work we hope to build on previous work that resulted in recommendations to rationalise some of the returns to focus on those aspects that truly add value to the service. 

What we are doing

We will be working with one district general hospital information team to experience the whole process for a selection of information returns. We aim to identify the benefits and challenges teams face, as well as any innovations in how the information is produced and used locally. 

In addition to following information collection, production, validation and submission, we will interview a small number of key staff involved in the process so that we can triangulate observed issues. Our work will also help us to identify key conclusions and recommendations about the process and the use of information in the NHS. 

We will produce a narrative report capturing how the process feels, the challenges it brings and a sense of how information is used to support the delivery of performance standards. 

Key milestones

Fieldwork began in December 2017 and we plan to publish a report  in the autumn of 2018. 


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