Why it’s important to have data that’s complete

Lucy Elliss-Brookes - Head of Advanced Analytics at NHS Digital

‘Having complete data on everyone is also very important because it makes sure our analysis is as accurate as possible and that any differences are not simply a result of chance.  If there are large numbers of missing patients, even 5% of cases, then we will not be able to detect important differences between cancers, treatments or clinical practice. So for example, if we do not know about cases from one GP surgery or one hospital we do not just lose the information about those individual organisations and what happened to their own patients, we weaken our ability to recognise important differences in all other organisations and that affects everyone else.’