INSIGHT 2020 – Week 3: Analytical priorities of the Decision Support Network


The Midlands Decision Support Unit Network has defined its analytical priorities for 20/21.

This week’s theme described the projects being carried out on behalf of the Network to respond to these priorities, the outputs they will produce and how these will be shared with the DSU Network and its partners.

This included the presentation of work already completed on behalf of the Network, focusing on resource usage in the last two years of life.

This week we also considered: what this way of working means for the future of analytics – what opportunities could it create for our analysts, our leaders and our population? 

Network analytical priorities 2020/21

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This session looked at the next set of analytical projects that the Decision Support Centre (DSC) will be delivering on behalf of the Network. These are: 

  • classifying outpatient visits by function; 
  • inequalities in access to mental health services for children and young people and consequences for later healthcare use and health outcomes; and 
  • inequalities in access to planned care: causes and consequences. 

Speakers: Steven Wyatt and Jake Parsons (The Strategy Unit) 

Changing how we work in the COVID-19 context: qualitative insights

This session presented findings from qualitative evaluation research with Herefordshire and Worcestershire STP, exploring learning from the COVID-19 response. The research included participants from primary care, community services, secondary care, cancer services, mental health services, STP leadership and Healthwatch. 

Speakers: Paul Mason and Abeda Mulla (The Strategy Unit) 

The Future of Analytics

This was a ‘think-piece’ session involving key consideration of the major issues, challenges and opportunities facing health and care analysts in terms of future skills, technology, software, data, application, etc. 

Speakers: Gareth Wrench, Mohammed A MohammedSteven Wyatt (The Strategy Unit) and Julian Flowers (Head of Data Science, Public Health England) 

End of life care: analytical insights

This interactive presentation focussed on the Strategy Unit’s recently completed project on end of life care, focusing on resource usage in the last two years of life. This project provides an early example of the kind of work the Midlands Decision Support Centre (DSC) will deliver on behalf of the Network, demonstrating the benefits of working at this scale. This project provides insight into who the end of life population are, where they die and both how and when they access healthcare. 

Speakers: Justine Wiltshire (The Strategy Unit) and Kate Warren (Consultant in Public Health for Wolverhampton) 

Panel discussion: shaping future analytical priorities

What are the big analytical questions on the horizon for the DSC? This week we looked at some of the significant analysis being conducted on behalf of the Midlands, as well as nationally, and thought about the implications of this work for decision-makers and analysts in health and care. 

This panel discussion brings together some of the expert speakers from the week. They were asked to think about what was next and invited discussion from the audience to help shape the analytical priorities of the future. 

Speakers: Andi Orlowski (Director, The Health Economics Unit), Gareth Wrench, Steven Wyatt and Paul Mason (The Strategy Unit) 

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