Consultation Hub

Welcome to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Consultation Hub. This site will help you find, share and participate in our consultations. This is your chance to help us produce better statistics for better decisions.
 
You can find details of consultations held before November 2016 on our website.

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We Asked

We Asked

ONS currently produces Health State Life Expectancy estimates for local areas of the UK. These estimates at both national and subnational level are calculated using health state prevalence data available from the Annual Population Survey (APS). Stakeholders have wanted estimates of these summary measures of population health at a subnational level, and they are a national indicator in the Public Health Outcomes Framework.

We tested three alternative methods, designed to address the current weakness of small sample sizes producing somewhat erratic health state prevalence estimates across the age distribution in those areas with smaller populations. Each method modelled age-specific health and disability-free state prevalence using a least squares regression containing a quadratic line of best fit.

ONS wanted to ensure stakeholders had the opportunity to respond to the proposed change in methods, having had the opportunity to appraise its impact in the Proposed method change in UK health state life expectancies paper published in December 2017.

ONS wanted to elicit the opinion of key stakeholders on the proposed change, particularly regarding its complexity and ease of communication. We also asked whether other methods should be considered, whether they had any concerns with us implementing the method and whether implementation would impact on their use of these statistics.

You Said

You Said

We are grateful to everyone who took time to respond to the consultation. There were 5 responses received, but some of these were a collation from separate organisations although not all wanted to be identified. Those willing to be identified can be found in the final section of the consultation report titled ‘List of responding organisations’.

The key points to note from the responses to the consultation are:

  • Further complexity to improve the model should not be undertaken at the expense of ease of communication of the statistics. It was thought the modelling approach was already somewhat complex and shouldn’t be made more so.
  • Four respondents agreed that the method proposed to model health and disability state prevalence reduces the volatility in the estimates for sub-national areas and at the older ages, making comparisons over time easier.
  • The proposed method complexity can be simplified by explicit explanation of the changes in methodology in plain English, which will mitigate the risk of figures being misinterpreted.
  • Concerns were raised as to whether health and disability questions would be asked in the 2021 Census, and if they did, would they be comparable and would changes present challenges for using the new proposed method. Over longer time horizons, there was also a concern about the adequacy of data expected to replace the Census in 2031.
  • ONS must ensure sufficient information is available to allow other departments and organizations to calculate figures and not be reliant on ONS calculating the health state life expectancy estimates using other sources or for different population sub-groups. This will also reduce the risk of users misrepresenting figures.
  • There was a concern raised over whether the method will continue to be developed, as this would cause further breaks in the time-series. Another respondent expressed concern that the implementation of the method would put at risk a long, consistent time-series.
  • One organisation has said they will implement the method that ONS decides to use, provided sufficient information is available to allow them to replicate the estimates. The proposed changes provide data for all subnational areas which would make the data more usable for one organisation’s purposes.
  • Respondents said the health state life expectancy estimates feed into public health frameworks for England and Wales, which help understand how public health is being improved and protected. The estimates also have policy impact in that they are used in consideration of the State Pension age.

We Did

We Did

As a result of this consultation the following actions will be undertaken:

  • We will implement our proposed method based on modelling health and disability-free state prevalence to calculate future health state life expectancy estimates and provide a back series;
  • Our next publication for sub-national areas of the UK, due to be published in December 2018 will apply this method;
  • Subsequently, ONS will no longer publish statistics based on the previous method;
  • The December 2018 and March 2019 publications referred to above will also take account of the revised mid-year population estimates for sub-national and small area populations in England and Wales and provide a back series from 2009 to 2011 for the former and from 2011 to 2013 for the latter;
  • The December publication will include additional areas such as combined authorities (geographic codes E47) for England and Health Boards for Wales;
  • Facilitate further work with the devolved administrations to ensure understanding of the methodology to allow other departments to replicate the estimates and calculate their own estimates with other areas of interest;
  • We will additionally undertake an evaluation of the method’s performance, comparing the 10-year trajectory between 2010 to 2012 and 2020 to 2021 using the new method and that using the censuses to interpolate census-based prevalence over the decade;
  • ONS will ensure any changes brought about by what is learnt from the 2021 Census data will be implemented with a back series. If the 2021 Census contains health questions, ONS will wait until a formal evaluation and interpolation study has been conducted and published on. This is unlikely to be published until the late autumn of 2023.

We Asked

ONS currently produces population estimates by marital status and living arrangements for England and Wales. Where possible an estimate of the population who are in a marriage between same-sex couples is provided separately. This is currently a number, not available by age or sex because of very small estimates of this population. Throughout the majority of the publication the population who are in a marriage between opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples are presented together as a total married population.

ONS were keen to learn whether the provision of a separate estimate of the population who are in a marriage between same-sex couples is meeting user need, allowing us to gain a better understanding of who uses these estimates and how they are being used.

The consultation questions were specifically aimed at gathering user need about the number (stock) of people by marital status living in England and Wales not the number of marriages being formed in England and Wales (flow), which ONS has asked users about in the past.

You Said

We are grateful to everyone who took time to respond to the consultation. There were a total of 354 responses received from a variety of organisations and individuals that monitor, formulate or influence policy and plan services both at the national and local level. We also received responses from academics, charities and religious groups. A full list of organisations that responded can be found in Annex A. The feedback we received is very valuable to us and has helped us to better understand our users and their data requirements.

The key points to note from the responses to the consultation are:

  • 99.4% of respondents require estimates of the population who are married to be presented separately for same-sex couples and for opposite-sex couples.
  • The majority (71.8%) of responses came from individuals; the next largest group of responses (16.1%) came from religious or church groups.
  • Respondents require estimates of the married population to be separate to allow:
    • Analysis of family and relationship trends and diversity
    • Calculation of divorce rates which allows analysis of the differences in length of marriage
    • Equalities monitoring
    • Provision of a comprehensive picture of the resident population
    • Informed service provision
    • Monitoring of physical/ mental health and wellbeing outcomes
    • Support of evidence based policy making
    • Understanding of the impact and effect of the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
    • Historical and international comparisons of the population who are in a marriage between opposite sex couples.   

We Did

As a result of this consultation, we:

  • Have a better understanding of user need which allows us to make informed decisions about marital status data collection in the future.
  • Will continue to provide separate estimates of the population who are in a marriage between same-sex couples and in a marriage between opposite-sex couples where possible.
  • Will continue to monitor these data to see whether we can provide more detailed estimates in the future which could be of more use to our users.

We Asked

Our aim was to gain a better understanding of price discrimination for export of services and how prices could be affected by exchange rates.

You Said

Information received varied across service sectors, consistent themes were identified.

We Did

Feedback obtained will be used to assist development of the Services Producer Price Index (SPPI).