New scoping report explores how linked administrative data could generate evidence

Using linked administrative data for monitoring and evaluating FNP in England: a scoping report

This report, commissioned by the FNP National Unit and undertaken by researchers at UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, presents a scoping review of how population-based linkage between data from the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) in England and administrative datasets from other services could be used to generate evidence for commissioning, service evaluation and research.

It addresses the methodological considerations, permission pathways and technical challenges of using data from the FNP linked with routinely collected, administrative data from other public services for population-based analyses, at a national and local authority level.

Our ambition, when commissioning this work, was to explore whether linking data from FNP with administrative datasets might help provide a richer view about how the FNP intervention is affecting different cohorts of clients and their child after they have graduated.

The report suggests that the potential for data linkage to support ongoing evaluation of a wide range of interventions including FNP at a national level is promising and an important area to explore.  It makes a significant contribution to understanding the possibilities and constraints for doing this, which include barriers to data linkage at a local level (which we know is crucial for local commissioners) and the significant investment required to realise the potential of this project.

We believe this report offers valuable insights other organisations interested in the delivery of evidence based policy may want to pursue.