Skip to main content Skip to navigation


Samantha Riley, Director of Making Data Count (27 June 2022)

"I wanted to write and thank you for all of the research that you have undertaken related to the use of SPC charts in the NHS and the impact of the Making Data Count work that I have been leading.

Your initial paper published in 2016 (Considering chance in quality and safety performance measures: an analysis of performance reports by boards in English NHS trustsLink opens in a new window) has been a very important piece of evidence to demonstrate not only the value of using SPC charts, but also to highlight the lack of use and understanding of SPC charts in the NHS. This research paper has very much shaped the Making Data Count programme as it is today and I have tried to address each of the issues identified as barriers in the paper.

We have now undertaken 170 board development sessions and in addition have trained over 15,000 staff at different levels of seniority (clinical, managerial and support staff) – the majority of these virtually since the pandemic. We train analysts in both the theory behind SPC and the practicalities of how to create charts, plus we have made available a range of free products to enable SPC charts to be created locally. These range from easy to use Excel tools designed for frontline staff to several thousand lines of SQL script and Power BI templates which enable the creation of SPC charts at scale. We have an analyst network of other 550 members and an online collaboration site with 4,600 members – all who are passionate about the use of SPC to benefit patient care.