The statement made by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in the House of Commons on 13 June 2022.
I would like to inform the House that the final version of “Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data” has been published today. It builds on the groundbreaking use of data during the pandemic and sets out ambitious plans to harness the potential of data in health and care, while maintaining the highest standards of privacy and ethics.
When facing this country’s greatest public health emergency for generations, one of the most effective tools at our disposal has been the power of data. Now, as we look to live with covid, we must apply those same tools as we tackle the most pressing challenges facing the country including elective recovery and integration of health and social care.
Earlier this year, I made a speech setting out my four priorities for reform in health; prevention, personalisation, performance and people. We cannot deliver the change we need to see, and our 10 year plans for cancer, dementia and mental health, unless we embrace the opportunities from data-driven technologies. Last week, Sir Gordon Messenger and Dame Linda Pollard published their review into leadership of health and social care, and I accepted their recommendations in full. Today’s data strategy is the next step in our plans to modernise the NHS.
This strategy shows how we will use data to bring benefits to all parts of health and social care; from patients and care users, to staff on the front line, to the pioneers driving the most cutting-edge research.
It is backed by a series of concrete commitments, including investing in secure data environments to power research into new treatments, using technology to allow staff to spend more quality time with patients, and giving people better access to their own data through shared care records and the NHS app. The strategy will support NHS providers to tackle the covid backlog, providing them with the means to monitor and optimise capacity through improved data sharing and the development of advanced analytics. This is all on top of the huge investment that we have already made; for instance investing £200 million in our data for research and development programme.
It is vital that, as we deliver these benefits, we work in a way that maintains the high level of public trust in how the NHS uses health and care data. That means maintaining the highest standards of privacy and ethics, investing in secure data environments and cyber security, involving the public in decisions about how data is used in the future, listening and responding to their views and concerns.
We published a draft of this strategy in June 2021, and I would like to thank the hundreds of people and organisations who provided feedback which was invaluable in shaping this final version of our strategy for the future.
I would also like to thank Dr Ben Goldacre for his work on the Goldacre Report, which was published in April, and made a compelling case for how data can drive innovation and improve healthcare. I fully support his recommendations and this strategy shows how we will take them forward.
I will deposit a copy of the draft strategy in both Libraries.