At present, researchers who require to access NHS Data need to apply to the NHS and satisfy a wide ranging set of security questions. This process currently is repeated each time data is required, from scratch.
If we could set out the process to makeit easy to follow, and also supply any generic templates for us, then a lot of effort, elapsed time and risk could be eliminated.
The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicineset a project to provide some default, template text documentation around IT provision for our research community to use when applying for research data. This would proactively answer questions which we know we may be asked to produce policy documents around IT elements such as IT security, training, storage and backup for instance. Research data could come from a number of providers but this approach would answer the commonly asked components.
1. Produce a clear researcher IT documentation check list which can be worked through by anyone applying for data.
2. Produce a clear, standard documentation set for the College with a number of University policies and template text for researchers to follow.
All deliverables achieved.
Adopting best practice around standard documentation sets will help reduce administration overheads and provide clarity to our research community on how to complete / provide information relating to the underpinning IT for each project.
Benefits wil be realised post-project- but Paul Clark already notes "(that the new document set) is already making a tangible difference to the College staff I work with".
Analysis of Resource Usage:
Staff Usage Estimate: 9 days
Staff Usage Actual: 37 days
Staff Usage Variance: 311%
Other Resource Estimate: 1 days
Other Resource Actual: 1 days
Other Resource Variance: 0%
Explanation for variance:
The analysis effort proved to be substantially greater than initial estimate.
The stakeholder set was more extensive than first anticipated, needing more QA and management.
Also, the project scope was extended to work with a team to pilot the documentation and also a key representative from HSCIC (Health and Social Care Information Centre) and receive feedback with this needing the business analyst heavy involvement as well as more pm effort as project extended by months.
- Following the workshop in September to review the 2 document sets there was various wording to be supplied by team members, this was difficult to obtain and required regular chasing (and certainly with regards the SLSP wording still has not been supplied – this was the section that Orlando was originally to provide. I had to put some of the paragraphs together myself when despite chasing no response received.
- There were a couple of sessions with Mome and Allan Walker to walkthrough all the documentation when they were to pilot the documents. This was then followed by regular chasing to find out position before being told they would not be piloting. Process then restarted with CBS Team and a couple of sessions out at ERI with them.
- Liaising with Myke Gallacher to share templates, make and share amendments.
- Issues with formatting on OneDrive (which were resolved more than once).
- Links within the templates no longer working due to the new website resulted in me having to locate new links and insert
- Pick up put down time as a result of the project waiting for responses from team members.
Key Learning Points:
Ownership – Not part of this project, but Paul Clark will be suggesting that we have agreement that the RDM team and the CISO own this moving forward, and the documentation set will feed into project RSS006 (follow on project for Data Safe Haven).
Annual audit and Request Changes – suggestion is that the RDM team and CISO have to review the documentation set on an annual basis to incorporate changes and enhancements with legal, documentation and other changes.
Guidance for Researchers on the scope and purpose of the template documents - during discussions with the Clinical Brain Science Team it was agreed that some template guidance would be useful. It was agreed that a walkthrough of the templates would be an effective way to provide this (rather producing additional documentation). Once owning area is assigned this is a task to be taken forward.
Ongoing support for Researchers - during discussions with the Clinical Brain Science Team there was a requirement raised for further support (such as response to ad hoc questions, peer review of documentation) prior to submission of the documents. Once owning area is assigned this is a task to be taken forward.