What has NHS-R done and what else should it do?

Where does NHS-R fit? #

Brilliantly, NHS-R is already leading on many of the things from this review that are important to me. I’m going to highlight the stuff we already started doing, with nobody asking us to, and a paltry amount of funding, and then I’m going to talk about the stuff that we can make a really solid contribution to tomorrow if we’re brought in to the conversation (which, according to the review, we should be).

[if you’re reading this and you’re not me, these are just notes for now. I will make it less scrappy]

What has NHS-R already done? #

Modernising NHS service analytics #

Open working #

  • Open 3. Make open code a boilerplate feature of all public contracts
  • Open 14. Write an ‘open analytics policy for the NHS’
  • Open 18. Create a ‘Code For Health’ training programme for NHS service analysts and academic researchers
    • NHS-R is mentioned by name, we have already done a huge amount of work training analysts in R and related disciplines (such as git)
  • Open 31. Provide guidance and training on RAP and code sharing

What can NHS-R do in the future? #

Modernising NHS service analytics #

  • NHSA 4. Support an NHS analyst community
  • NHSA 11. Devise the content of a national training programme for NHS analysts: initial and CPD
    • NHS-R wouldn’t be expected to contribute across the board, but NHS-R includes many experts in:
      • RAP
      • dashboard programming
      • programming for statistics and machine learning
      • Git, GitHub, and collaboration
      • Training in data science methods
  • NHSA 12. Oversee funding and delivery of training, both open online and one-to-one

Open working #

  • Open 18. Create a ‘Code For Health’ training programme for NHS service analysts and academic researchers
    • NHS-R is mentioned in this recommendation- NHS-R should continue to provide readily accessible help to those using open source data science methods in their work (experiential learning) as well as contribute to formal training programmes inside and outside of NHS-R
    • NHS-R could consider more “MOOC” like approaches to training (“In-person supervision is necessary for a subset of attenders, especially those seeking certification, to supervise practical work, and for marking work to evaluate competences”) and should be funded and supported to do so

Summary #

Broadly, three main areas of activity are identified above:

  • Community building
    • Two weekly drop in sessions
    • Regular updates on GitHub issues and work triage
    • More involvement of and communication with fellows
    • Regular, structured communication programme featuring tweets, blogs, and podcasts
  • Experiential learning
    • Mentoring scheme
    • NHS data science acceletator launched
    • Run and co-run NHS-R training
    • NHS-R solutions can include a component where training/ supervising/ assisting the team delivering them is included
  • Writing code, software, and training
    • Offer an “out of the box” NHS-R solution where software is provided to organisations that request it
  • Contributing to policy