Advisory Board discussions

Our Advisory Boards over the past year have played host to a range of discussions which have shaped strategy and approach both within the PRSB and among membership organisations and stakeholders.

In April 2022, we made a renewed commitment to the greater representation of individuals and organisations from across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. While much of work has been commissioned in the past by NHS England, we know that many people live their lives across the borders of the four nations, and that often information standards adopted in one of the four nations will shape and influence those used by others. To ensure meaningful interoperability which can facilitate better life-long care, it is vital that the PRSB effectively engage and represent people across the breadth of the United Kingdom

Since this discussion, we have increased our representation through signing up members from the Associations of Royal Medical Colleges of both Wales and Scotland. During discussions about the integration of health and social care sectors we have regularly sought input from the devolved nations, recognising that there are important lessons to be learned from their experiences of the process. Our Advisory Board meetings have regularly featured presentations from representatives of health and social care organisations and devolved governments from across the United Kingdom. What’s more, our standards consultations have been advertised to and attended by individuals from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, ensuring a wider utility.

In October, Ming Tang (National Director for Data and Analytics at NHS England), addressed the Advisory Board regarding the Federated Data Platform, a new initiative to use data and insights to deliver services across health and social care.  There has been a strong interest in this topic from members of the PRSB, and an interest in continued cooperation to engage both professionals and the wider public in this programme.

In January, Kerensa Downing (Data Quality Team Lead, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust), Aimee Linfield (Practice Manager, Pride in Practice- Greater Manchester) and Tash Oakes-Monger (LGBT+ Project Manager, NHS England) led a conversation about recording sex and gender within people’s records, and the particular issues facing transgender and non-binary individuals’ when their gender identity and biological sex are incorrectly recorded, which has restricted people’s access to care. There was a significant appetite for developing new guidance for capturing sex and gender in care records and in the coming year we will pursue this project proactively.

There are many new and evolving areas which our Advisory Board will address in the coming year. We have begun the process of looking at Artificial Intelligence and emergent technologies, a question we will no doubt revisit as development continues unabated. Increasingly we will look at how convergence of information for care and information for research are being pooled and what the ramifications of this are. As digital maturity within health and social care progresses, and in light of drives to combine the two sectors into a holistic approach to care, the question of what integrated data standards look like in practice will need to be revisited. We look forward to exploring and addressing the technical, ethical, and pragmatic issues that these processes require, with the input of experience from our members representing the wide spectrum of those receiving and providing health and social care.