This page contains a summary of important quality information that you need to know before using this data. The Public Service Productivity Estimates: Healthcare Quality and Methodology Information PDF document link contains further information on:

  • the strengths and limitations of the data
  • the quality of the output: including the accuracy of the data, how it compares with related data
  • uses and users
  • how the output was created

Important points about Public Service Productivity Estimates: Healthcare

  • The estimate for public service productivity is displayed as an index, showing the change over time of the amount of output provided for each unit of input.
  • Public service output and inputs are measured in quantity terms (also referred to as volume terms), as opposed to expenditure terms, to remove the effect of price changes over time.
  • Public service healthcare output is also adjusted for changes in the quality of healthcare, as recommended by the Atkinson Review.
  • Productivity estimates included in this article are multi-factor productivity estimates as opposed to labour productivity estimates, and so are not comparable to ONS measures of whole-economy labour productivity.
  • These estimates are produced to measure the productivity of public service healthcare, but do not measure value for money or the wider performance of public healthcare services.

Overview

Public service healthcare productivity is estimated by comparing growth in the total quantity of healthcare output provided (adjusted for quality) with growth in the total quantity of inputs used. If the growth rate of output exceeds the growth rate of inputs, productivity increases, meaning that more output is being produced for each unit of input. Conversely, if the growth rate of inputs exceeds the growth rate of output, then productivity will fall, indicating that less output is being produced for each unit of input.

Productivity estimates included in this article are multi-factor productivity estimates as opposed to labour productivity estimates, and so are not comparable to ONS measures of whole-economy labour productivity. This is because the inputs for public service productivity include goods and services and capital inputs, in addition to labour input. The public service productivity measures included in this article are also not directly comparable with the ONS whole economy multi-factor productivity estimates due to differences in the methodology used.

These estimates are produced to measure the productivity of public service healthcare. They do not measure value for money or the wider performance of public healthcare services. They do not indicate, for example, whether the inputs have been purchased at the lowest possible cost, or whether the desired outcomes are achieved through the output provided.

The methodology for calculating these statistics is based on the recommendations of the Atkinson Review on the measurement of government output and productivity for the National Accounts. Estimates are published on a calendar year basis to be consistent with the UK National Accounts, and estimates for healthcare productivity form part of the total public service productivity measure included in Public service productivity estimates: total public service, 2014. The output statistics are also used as part of the measure of government output in the national accounts, although the national accounts do not include the quality adjustment, to comply with the European System of National and Regional Accounts 2010.

More information on the methodology can be found in Sources and Methods Public Service Productivity Estimates: Healthcare.

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Contact details for this Quality and methodology information

James Lewis
james.lewis@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 455323