UK ministers plan to centralise health data so they can compare England with ‘poorer-performing’ services in Wales
UK Government ministers are planning to centralise health data to make it easier to compare services in England with what they suspect are poorer-performing services in Wales and Scotland.
According to Politico ministers are briefing that they have concerns that the lack of standardized data on health and other outcomes “masks” poorer-performing services in Scotland and Wales, making comparing them to England more difficult.
“It comes as the government in Westminster tries to fight off calls for Scottish and Welsh independence and preserve Britain’s union of four nations,” Politico said, saying that the UK Government is now planning “a more combative stance towards the Scottish and Welsh governments”.
Under the plans, the U.K.’s central Office for National Statistics would be given greater responsibility over collecting and publishing U.K.-wide data, two government officials told Politico. This data is currently collected by separate agencies in Scotland and Wales.
Legislation announcing that responsibility over health data would be taken back from the Welsh Government to Whitehall could be announced in May’s Queen’s Speech.
It comes after devolution allowed the Welsh and Scottish governments sweeping powers to react differently to the UK Government during the Covid pandemic.
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