Mind the gap: developing effective communications between decision-makers and analysts in health and care

Devon Partnership NHS Trust

  • Being run by Devon Partnership NHS Trust, in partnership with the South West NIHR CLAHRC, based at the University of Exeter.
  • Aiming to close the gap between decision-makers and analysts in health care organisations.
  • Following research into the current situation, will develop a framework and set of recommendations to improve communication and the transfer of information.
  • Project will run from October 2018 to September 2019.

As highlighted in the report Understanding analytical capability in health care, there is a lack of analytical representation and technical expertise at NHS board level, which can lead to analytical outputs not meeting the requirements of decision-makers.

In addition, analysts often don’t have the skills to communicate effectively the outputs of their findings to those who need to act on them.

This project by Devon Partnership NHS Trust will look to close this gap between decision-makers and analysts. It will use a range of methods to develop a clear framework and set of recommendations around improving communication and the transfer of information.

To begin with, the project team will focus on understanding the current situation, drawing upon an example of analytical support for decision-making at Devon Partnership NHS Trust – current work on using analytics and modelling to support decision-making for personality disorder patients. Further work will expand the investigation across other health organisations in the South West, and more generally across the NHS.

The team will then produce a report highlighting the key issues and listing recommendations, and will hold workshops and take part in conferences to present their findings. Tools such as information visualisation methods will be developed, as well as a framework model for effective communication. Alongside this, there will be recommended standards, an outline of training needs for both analysts and decision-makers, and case studies and illustrations of best practice.

It is hoped that the project outputs will influence the adoption of new procedures and resources across a range of health organisations. 

Contact information

For more information on this project, contact David Somerfield, Medical Director, CCIO and Consultant Psychiatrist, Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

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