Date of interview: 30 June 2010.
What are the key challenges for creating high-quality intelligence to inform workforce planning?
Peter Sharp: The hardest thing in all workforce intelligence is getting high-quality data in at that front end. What the Centre is going to do is have a three-year data improvement plan; so we start from where we are with the quality of data that is routinely available from a variety of sources - we have identified over 100 sources and we are going to cut that down to a more manageable set which will end up giving us a core data set so that by the late autumn of early spring we will have identified and agreed with our partners where that core dataset is sourced, what the information is like, we will look at its quality and then we will look at improvement measures and what we need to do in partnership with those that provide the data to improve that quality over time. So the key challenge is to get high quality data that with analysis, can be turned into intelligence; and from intelligence, options appraisal about what to do and in some cases we’ll be asked to do a preferred option with a rationale for that. This is the primary challenge.
The second part is engaging with all the relevant partners in the equation, so the SHAs, the Strategic Health Authorities, PCTs, Foundation Hospitals, the Royal Colleges, the Deaneries, all the education establishments involved and in indeed with local authorities over social care, particularly getting a more integrated approach to health and social care through that route.