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The power of information: Putting all of us in control of the health and care information we need

This strategy sets a ten-year framework for transforming information for health and care. It aims to harness information and new technologies to achieve higher quality care and improve outcomes for patients and service users. Underpinned by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, it covers public health, healthcare and social care in adult and children’s services in England.

As citizens, patients and users of care services, this strategy sets out how a new approach to information and IT across health and care can lead to more joined up, safer, better care for us. The strategy spans information for patients, service users, carers, clinicians and other care professionals, managers, commissioners, councillors, researchers, and many others. Information and transparency can drive up standards, leading to safer, more integrated care and more effective prevention of ill health.

Information can bring enormous benefits. It is the lifeblood of good health and wellbeing, and is pivotal to good quality care. It allows us to understand how to improve our own and our family’s health, to know what our care and treatment choices are and to assess for ourselves the quality of services and support available.

Information can also be used by regulators and by local organisations to head off issues before they become the next major incident.

Information also allows professionals to understand the needs of the population they serve, how well different services and treatments work, and the needs and health history of the people they treat. Information about local areas allows residents to understand how the use of public funds matches local care, support and health needs, and whether vulnerable groups are getting a fair share of the benefits.