NEW REPORT: Spotlight on Early Years

Published: 20 Oct 2021

A new report from HQIP calls for changes to audit reporting to enable better understanding of healthcare, specifically in relation to health inequalities. Spotlight on Early Years, which is based on data spanning four years, aims to improve health outcomes for all, in light of an increased focus on a variation in care as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report aims to understand how the NCAPOP programme can enhance the collection and use of clinical audit data to address the issue of health inequalities, and improve programme-level learning. It makes a number of key recommendations, including:

  • setting a requirement for a minimum dataset of patient characteristics, which should include ethnicity and postcode, and
  • standardising audit measures to enable reporting on universal characteristics such as ethnicity and deprivation.

Other recommended changes, such as moving towards shorter, timely interactive datasets with links to online improvement resources, will make audit reporting more accessible and easier to use. As such, it could lead to improved learning and greater impact.

Spotlight on Early Years responds to the Government’s ‘Best Start for Life’ review which sets out a vision for what it calls “the 1,001 Critical Days” at the start of life. More specifically, it utilises 10 National Clinical Audit reports from the National Neonatal Audit Programme (NNAP), the National Maternal and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) and the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network (PICANet). In total 264 recommendations from these reports were reviewed to harness cross-cutting lessons.

We are now working with NHSE/I to review this report and understand how we can enhance both the collection and use of data, to maximise the impact of clinical audit data and improve health outcomes going forward.

Find out more: Read the full report and recommendations here.