Gavin Boyle Chesterfield Royal“NHS organisations have at their disposal a massive amount of data that we can use to inform our improvement work – however the sheer volume of information means that it is very difficult to make sense of all this and turn it into useable intelligence. EMAHSN’s Informatics and Health Analytics service has the ability to release meaning from this sea of data to enable service transformation.”

Gavin Boyle, CEO, Chesterfield Royal Hospital


Our Health Analytics and Informatics Programme is focused on enabling NHS staff to make the very best use routinely collected healthcare data – this enables organisations and individuals to better plan, measure and deliver high quality health and social care. The team supports EMAHSN projects and provides expert external advice to members and partners. They also run an awarding-winning training course for NHS and social care analysts propagating best data practice across the region and beyond.


Using data to understand how healthcare services are currently used and delivered as well as to identify opportunities for improvement releases opportunity locked inside the data collected as a by-product of providing care.

As the NHS increasingly adopts technology to record and manage care electronically, the amount of data available and the opportunities from skilled utilisation of this data to improve the care of patients are expanding at a fantastic rate.

EMAHSN have recruited, funded, scoped and supported the programme since June 2013, taking a lead in the practical application of informatics innovations. We provide innovative training around data analysis, presentation and statistics to ensure that analysts are better placed to deliver these opportunities. We have also procured and disseminated a key benchmarking tool which provides data intelligence for NHS organisations and the team have provided analysis to support a range of partners to deliver better care for patients.

We use data to inform service improvement decisions by ensuring we maximise the value of new and existing information, and by improving the communication of this to managers and clinicians.

What’s the impact?

Regional approach to benchmarking tool procurement:

EMAHSN procured a region-wide benchmarking service currently used by four of our eight acute trusts. We have:

  • Achieved significant cost savings for participating trusts
  • Opened up access to the data for analysts, mangers and frontline clinicians
  • EMAHSN have co-funded the development of the tool for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), extending the range of organisations who benefit from having high quality benchmarking data
  • Used the tool to understand organisational performance, outcomes and activity and to benchmark against other trusts nationally
  • Increased understanding of existing performance and the opportunities for improvement, as well as what is working well and should be spread, which is the foundation of good innovation
Information Analysts Programme:
  • First and unique development programme designed and developed specifically for NHS information analysts, equipping them with skills to ensure their organisations make the best evidenced based decisions, building on NHS and academic collaboration
  • Since its launch 119 participants have attended the 11 day programme, 60 in the past year, from across the East Midlands and beyond. 29 NHS organisations in the East Midlands sent attendees and we are currently delivering our first session for social care analysts
  • Awarded ‘Training Programme Director of the Year Award 2016’ at the NHS Health Education England Excellence in Education Awards East Midlands  
Providing high quality analysis to support organisations across the region:
  • Data information packs for a range of organisations
  • Analysis and advice to support the development, delivery and evaluation of AHSN projects
  • Analysis to support the proposal for and evaluation of local Vanguard projects
  • A review of information departments in some acute hospitals to identify best practice and opportunities for development
  • Analysis of a public consultation for two CCGs and a range of projects delivering improvements to patient care including: exploring 7-day services and providing expertise on database design and analysis of data to support the implementation of the electronic capture of clinical observations called the NHS National Early Warning Score - a tool which supports staff to identify early clinical deterioration of patients)
  • Assisting the PEACH project (Proactive Health for Older people living in Care Home) to develop a tool which better enables patients who live in care homes to be identified from hospital data. This allows assessment of the impact of the comprehensive geriatric assessment, or CGA (CGA is a recognised, well-defined, and evidenced process for the management of older people).  This is expected to not only improve the care of this vulnerable group of patients, but also provide evidence to support widespread adoption of CGA
  • Providing region-wide analysis and partnership working through the hosting, in collaboration with the East Midlands Clinical Network, of an Accelerate Coordinate Evaluate (ACE) programme analyst.  The ACE programme is funded by Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer, and aims to inform future commissioning by developing a body of evidence on the different approaches to diagnosis. The East Midlands element of the project is evaluating the impact of ‘straight to test pathways’ on early diagnosis of oesophageal and gastric cancer 

What's next?

Informatics and Health analytics is a core EMAHSN enabling programme and will continue to develop.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended this course as it is has given me much more confidence in my abilities as a data analyst. Being exposed to the techniques and ideas that each session and guest speaker introduced, as well as having the chance to trial new software, was invaluable. I have been able to incorporate what I have learnt into my everyday work, improving the analysis I can provide to my managers.”

Dave Vernon, Data Analyst and Senior Screening Officer, Bowel Cancer Screening Programme - Eastern Hub
pdfRead more about Dave's story here: