Some screening providers need more support and clarity on how to complete and submit accurate data on screening standards and key performance indicators (KPIs).
The national antenatal screening team therefore travelled across the country, from Leeds in the north to Taunton in the south, to deliver a series of data workshops.
Making a data training workshop appealing was challenging. However, we put together a very interactive format and people flocked to the events when we hit the road.
More than 110 maternity providers were represented at the 7 workshops. Most delegates were local screening coordinators but sonographers, IT analysts, failsafe officers and biomedical scientists also attended.
They were supported by regional screening quality assurance service (SQAS) teams and screening and immunisation leads.
What the delegates said
The majority of delegates rated the workshops as very good and found all the sessions useful.
Here is a selection of the feedback:
Overall this was a very good workshop. To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to it, because it was about data! But I did really enjoy it and it was the most useful workshop I have attended.
An excellent day! It was fantastic to have access to the national team and glean from their expertise. I was listened to and have felt assured that some concerns I have around wording and timeframes will be addressed.
It was really nice to be appreciated for the work we do and I felt the team were talking with us, not to us. So many of us have been in this role for many years and truly value the data collection and it is so nice to know the national leads appreciate how difficult it can be to get unit recognition of our work and the struggles we encounter.
I would definitely recommend to others. I feel more confident and assertive now to escalate to my managers and trust board regarding the huge workload KPIs entails and the support and resources that are required.
What we learned
The national team learned as much as the delegates. It was good that shared understanding was reinforced that this is about experiences of individual women going through the screening pathway and not about numbers.
The standards and KPIs require tenacity, dedication and sheer hard work to collect but they have led to improvements in screening services. Delegates told us that screening KPIs have been a catalyst for:
- raising the profile of screening in their organisations
- highlighting the need for additional resources such as failsafe offices and audit clerks to support the data collection process
- identifying and procuring maternity IT systems with the right functionality
- promoting multidisciplinary working
- highlighting and identifying improvements that would not otherwise have happened
Data quality improves
The data workshops have had a positive impact.
We saw a number of improvements in the quality of data in 2018 compared to previous KPI data returns. Completeness of data improved, submissions were more timely and correct templates were used.
We are reassured that women are being tracked through the screening pathway. There has been a significant reduction in the number of maternity services we have had to contact to clarify KPI submissions, which means they have a better understanding of not just KPI data definitions but also the reasons for timely submission.
This also reduces the burden on providers and enables us to turn the data around quicker and prepare for publication.
Thank you to everyone who has helped with these improvements.
PHE Screening blogs
PHE Screening blogs provide up to date news from all NHS screening programmes. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs. If you have any questions about this blog article, or about population screening in England, please contact the PHE screening helpdesk.