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NDRS Strategic Plan 2023 – 24

Our strategic plan sets our vision, core business and strategic priorities over the next 12 months. It outlines the strides we are and will continue to make to become a user needs focused service, and to strengthen our stakeholder engagement, including with patients and the public.


An introduction from our Associate Director Sarah Stevens:

The breadth of our work spans all four domains of Data Saves Lives and the move to NHS England brings us an opportunity to both increase the impact of our work and improve how we work to meet the needs of all our users.

The plan outlines our core business, values and the five strategic priorities we are focusing on for 2023 – 24. All are intrinsic to our vision ‘to drive improvements in population health and patient outcomes as a globally trusted curator of high-quality disease registration data, enabling and providing expert, timely analysis and insight.’

Our strategic priorities focus on making our data more timely and, working with the Data Access Request Service (DARS) more accessible, better understanding health inequalities, ensuring we have the right infrastructure in place and accelerating further data linkage, continuing to collaborate and strengthen our partnerships and ensuring that innovation thrives. Finally, and most importantly, a focus on each and every member of our team, without whom none of this incredibly valuable work would be realised.

We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the plan. Please send to [email protected]


Our Strategic Priorities 2023-24

Through delivery of our core business and strategic priorities we help to achieve…

  • Prevention and early detection of cancer, congenital anomalies and rare diseases including understanding of stage, screening and hereditary impacts
  • Informing national policy and commissioning of services
  • Supporting clinicians to deliver outstanding care
  • The personalised medicine agenda
  • Greater patient and public involvement and awareness
  • Identifying and monitoring inequalities to improve population health

1. Our people

A supported, planned, stable and responsive workforce.

We will work to:

Stabilise our workforce by

  • Supporting staff through the NHSE transition and support all areas of staff wellbeing

Achieve together by

  • Helping our teams understand our strategic plan and operationalise it
  • Involving our teams in prioritising workload

We will invest in and support training and development

  • Assess and identify our skills gaps
  • Put in place the right training
  • Explore innovative ways of providing development/skills building opportunities
  •  Create better knowledge sharing and collaboration across our teams

The right tools

  • Make sure our people have access to the right tools and technologies to be brilliant

2. Our data

Timeliness and accessibility of data.

We will work to:

Improve the timeliness of our data by

  • Setting and improving data standards
  • Support providers to improve data submission quality
  • Understanding the data needs of our users and aim to meet these
  • Reviewing and re-prioritise the data we need
  • Reviewing data outputs to better meet needs
  • Reviewing and adapt registration processes to improve timeliness
  • Developing more rapid datasets to react to needs of population

Improve access to our data by

  • Better understanding how others consume our data and how we can support them to improve this experience
  • Providing a single point of access for outputs to improve visibility and unify
  • Using Trusted Research/ Secure Data Environments
  • Continuing to raise awareness and understanding of data available from NDRS

Strengthen our understanding health inequalities by

  • Working towards ensuring all new datasets report outputs by age, gender, ethnicity, deprivation, geography
  • Exploring the feasibility of reporting against these categories with historical data

3. Our Infrastructure

Data linkage, the right technology.

We will work to:

Improve data linkage by

  • Linking the data within our priority datasets Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES), Emergency Care Dataset (ECDS), ONS births and mortality data, Diagnostic Imaging Dataset (DIDS), Prescriptions, Maternity Services Dataset (MSDS), Primary Care data
  • Developing integration from data in and out across NCRAS and NCARDRS
  • Seeking and identify opportunities for scalability and reproducibility
  • Developing a proof of concept of data linkage between new and old datasets

Ensure a secure tech infrastructure by

  • Identifying opportunities for scalability and reproducibility following the move to cloud
  • Leveraging new opportunities

4. Collaboration

Partnerships, cross-team working, clinical engagement.

We will work to:

Establish processes for initiating and strengthening partnerships

  • Standardise our approach to partnership management now we are in NHSE
  • Establish partnership criteria aligned to our strategic plan 
  • Establish flexible deployments that better address by-rote work and share experience
  • Ensure we continue to collaborate internationally on research and surveillance

Actively seek partnerships to expand our work

  • Actively seek out strategic partnerships and analytical partnerships
  • Seek partnerships in rare disease and innovation
  • Leverage new opportunities the NHSD/E tech stack offers
  • Increase NDRS participation and visibility in the market
  • Continue to expand our networks

5. Innovation

Greater automation, burden reduction, methodological innovation.

We will work to:

Support methodological innovation by

  • Establishing an internal process that supports staff to be innovative
  • Identifying and use novel methods using international best practice where available
  • Ensuring continuous improvement of data quality and reporting, through agreeing and achieving national quality standards on collection, curation and outputs
  • Continuing to drive the development of coding and classification guidance by referencing clinical evidence and drawing on NDRS’ clinical expertise, as well as through ongoing collaborations with external experts at national and international level

We will embed user needs led approaches

  • Continuing to gain a better understanding of user needs to identify new opportunities for innovation

Innovate in genomics and rare diseases

  • Scale up/roll out exemplar or proof of principles to other business areas
  • Improve ascertainment and expand coverage of genomics and rare diseases’

Enhance our technical innovation

  • Leverage partnerships to enable innovation in technology

Our core business

The below is an infographic shows our core business. Please refer to the supporting information section of this page for a full summary of the content of this image:

Screenshot of NDRS strategic plan

Monitoring and Reporting on our progress

We will aim to publish a progress report at the 6 and 12 month stages. 

How to request a copy of the strategic plan

If you would like a copy of the strategic plan please email [email protected] 

Supporting information

Please refer to the below supporting information for a full summary of the content of all of the images and infographics used on this page:

Last edited: 11 April 2024 3:21 pm