Need help to see the bigger picture? Insight can help

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So what exactly is ‘Insight’?

We use the term insight to mean the understanding we gain from the collection of data. This allows us to understand how people, feel, respond and engage with services from both a staff and patient perspective.

‘Insight’ is much more than just looking at facts and figures. 

It's also about how the statistics we gather triangulate with the narrative of what staff and patients are telling us so we truly understand what is going on.

'Insight' is also about listening and responding too, making changes to services that benefit both patients and staff. 'Insight' therefore is a two way conversation and demonstration that the health service is listening and evolving.

So how did this come about?

In 2009 the first report was published into the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust. There were many recommendations about how commissioners should use the variety of data they have access to understand local services.

Working with North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust I started to bring together qualitative patient experience data from complaints, Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS), focus groups, media, social media, surveys, consultations and workshops into a real time database.

This created themes and trends that are important in health economies. Data could be shown in a variety of different ways: by ward, organisation department, pathway, service, GP/Consultant.

Since then we have developed and evolved the database. We've added clinical effectiveness and safety data from GPs and practice staff. We are now able to tailor qualitative and quantitative real time data via interactive dashboards and reports which support the quality strategies across our client organisations.

So what does this mean for clients?

As one client said to me, the combination of local data with personal narrative gives health professionals 'the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of our patients, our providers and our services.'

Over the last five years we have rolled out our 'Insight' database to 14 CCGs across Midlands and Lancashire as well as over 600 GP practices, NHS England, condition support groups and out of hours providers.

If you would like more details about our award winning work please contact me on 07545 423379 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lesley Goodburn is the Insight and Involvement Service Partner at Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit.


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