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Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS) is establishing an Office of Data Analytics to provide insightful analyses to inform transformation of increasingly integrated health and care services. Initial partners are local NHS commissioning and provider organisations and the county council teams of analysts for public health, children’s social care and adult social care. Although focused on health and social care at first, this programme has an ambition to include other public sector organisations.

Contact: Andrew Cross, Consultant in Public Health

Origins, vision and objectives

The idea of setting up an Office of Data Analytics originates from the knowledge management strategy for the Surrey Heartlands ICS, which sets a vision for a system-wide intelligence unit within the partnership. A new joint way of working across departmental and organisational boundaries is being developed in the region – to deliver intelligence and gather evidence needed to transform how care is delivered.

The Office of Data Analytics will be a virtual hub, combining business intelligence and data analytics capabilities across the partnership. The early area of focus will be to deliver projects where joint working and analysis are required more efficiently and effectively, freeing up resources and improving the quality of insights available to the health and care system.

An audit of analytical skills and capacity is underway across the system to inform development and future working arrangements of the Office of Data Analytics. Next steps include establishing governance structures for the virtual unit and setting up a pathway to prioritise, plan, allocate and facilitate joint projects requiring a multi-organisational approach. The Office of Data Analytics partners will also inform development and start utilising a linked data platform being established across Surrey and Sussex.

The Surrey Office of Data Analytics will be part of the Surrey Heartlands Academy. This is a local enabler run in partnership with Kent, Surrey, Sussex Academic Health Science Network. It supports the adoption and spread of innovation and best practice, by working beyond organisational boundaries to liberate solutions that will improve outcomes in health and care. The ODA will link into the Academy networks and ICS workstreams, putting data analytics at the forefront of collective decision making.

The Surrey Hackathon Project: Visualising patterns of need and care.

Given the urgent need to utilise joint intelligence and build the analytic workforce across partner organisations as progress is made towards a formal Office of Data Analytics, a project was launched in January 2018 to visualise patterns of need and care to inform local decision making. The project has been run between local CCGs and Surrey County Council, with the support from the Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network, receiving funding from The Health Foundation's Advancing Applied Analytics programme.

This project includes ‘boot camps’ on Tableau, aimed at improving skills in visualising data with the tool. Three data hackathon events are also being held, where analysts work intensively with decision-makers to produce innovative and insightful data visualisations. The three hackathons focus on different priority areas: cardiovascular disease, primary care networks and children’s services.

A mixed method evaluation is also taking place across the project to understand how hackathon events can potentially improve information available to decision makers, and the project’s wider contribution to developing a local analytics community of practice. The visualisations produced will therefore be used to better inform decisions about further
integration of services, changing clinical pathways at a local level, possibly integrating services within Surrey Heartlands and supporting decision makers to make more informed decisions.


Michelle Eaton

Michelle Eaton

Michelle Eaton

Programme Manager

Michelle worked in the Government Innovation team on how the smarter use of data and technology can help civil society and public sector organisations deliver services, better.

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Camilla Bertoncin

Camilla Bertoncin

Camilla Bertoncin

Project Manager and Researcher

Camilla was a Project Manager and Researcher working in the Explorations team on the Centre for Collective Intelligence Design.

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