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Quality assurance of work on UK Health Accounts

The UK Health Accounts project is overseen by a Project Board, which advises on data sources and methods as well as comments on the strategic direction of the work.

The Project Board comprises members from the Office for National Statistics, from all UK health administrations, from HM Treasury and an academic:

Prabhat Vaze, Chief Economist, ONS
Peter Goldblatt, Chief Medical Statistician, ONS
John Henderson, Department of Health
Alasdair Munro, Scottish Executive Health Department
Robin Jones, National Assembly for Wales
Karen Campbell, Department for Health, Social Services and Personal Safety, Northern Ireland
Andrew Sanderson, HM Treasury
Alistair McGuire, London School of Economics

Prabhat Vaze and Peter Goldblatt share the role of Chair.

The Project Board has approved the following set of quality criteria:

  1. Objectivity of methodology. Where there is a choice of sources, estimation techniques and so on, there will be an objective assessment of relative advantages and disadvantages, and full documentation of alternatives.
  2. Transparency of compilation methods, including assumptions and judgements, will be made available through clear metadata. All processes will be fully documented and available to users. Where possible, sensitivity analysis will be conducted to demonstrate the effect on final estimates of employing different sources and techniques.
  3. Use made of robust definitions and classifications. The OECD System of Health Accounts manual, which sets out the internationally agreed framework for the compilation of Health Accounts, will be adhered to unless there is fully argued and documented reason to act otherwise.
  4. External validation. The methodology will be validated by acknowledged experts, for example the OECD; the estimates will be validated by health economics and statistics experts.
  5. Measures of quality will accompany outputs. Qualitative, and if possible quantitative, measures of quality will accompany estimates.
  6. Impartiality of release of data. Data will be released according to the timetable originally set, subject to the Project Board's consideration of the quality of the data
  7. Access for all. Data will be published in articles in the Economic Trends and Health Statistics Quarterly paper publications, and will be made available on-line on the National Statistics website.
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