The NEL Health and Justice Information Service (HJIS) team has implemented data quality improvements across secure residential estates in England as part of the Health and Justice Information Service programme. The improvements have assisted healthcare staff across more than 120 sites to prepare for essential functionality upgrades to the clinical system.


Five data quality targets had to be met in preparation for the upgrades known as the PDS Five targets:

  • The client unique identifier had to be the NHS Number.
  • Secure estate healthcare staff had to use smartcards to access the clinical system
  • Conversion of sites to Position Based Access Control (PBAC) enabled mode in SystmOne. Have no idea what this means…
  • Where possible, duplicated patient records had to be combined so that each patient had just the one record
  • Improvement in routine processes and system management

Our team used SystmOne task management to ensure open tasks were assigned, actioned and closed throughout the process. We created the PDS Five targets to focus the data quality work towards compliance for Spine connectivity.

Regular data quality audits provided support to sites to achieve the target results, including the PDS five targets, and dashboards and reports monitored progress for feedback to sites, service providers and NHS England Commissioners. These identified where additional resources may be required, or allowed intervention to help progress any outstanding issues that were beyond the site’s control.

Our team worked closely with service providers, NHS England Commissioners and NHS Digital National Back Office (NBO).


The work of our team brought significant achievements.

  • NHS Number coverage: The January 2019 audits showed that  91.02 per cent of the estate population of more than 80,000has an NHS number recorded in their patient demographics – a rise of more than 60 per cent coverage from the beginning of the HJIS Programme
  • Smartcard Usage: 81.76 per cent of over 13,000 staff with active profiles now have an associated smartcard linked on the clinical system, and work continues towards ensuring full smartcard coverage for each site. Smartcards are required to access NHS Spine information systems
  • Smartcard Mode in SystmOne: There are 116 out of 121 sites now in Enabled mode, meaning the use of Smartcards is required for accessing the clinical system
  • Duplicate Records: Duplicate patient records have been reduced extensively by over 900,000 with almost 50 per cent of sites operating at near to zero duplicates
  • Open Tasks and Unassigned Tasks: The January 2019 audits show that sites are, on average, still well below the threshold of 750 Open Tasks, with an average of 341 per site. With 112 of the 121 sites achieving the threshold, five sites showing between 751 to 999 open tasks and 4 sites with over 1,000 open tasks
  • Training and Support: A rigorous programme of end user training was delivered to all sites, and will be ongoing nationwide to maintain the gains in data quality standards