People involved in health and social care information - from managers and commissioners to public health researchers and academics - are invited to help shape a major new population-based survey as part of a wider survey programme being developed by the Information Centre for health and social care.

A consultation is under way into the design of the survey programme, which will focus on health and social care and cover topics such as smoking, drinking, obesity, mental health and cardiovascular disease.

Taking part will influence the direction and the delivery of the survey programme, which is likely to replace the Health Survey for England, and will help ensure its design is of the highest possible relevance. Responses will also contribute to a review of a range of other population-based surveys carried out by the Information Centre, such as those in the fields of mental health, maternity, infant feeding and dental health.

Rob Stones, head of the surveys review team, said: "We are keen to improve the relevancy of the data collected and consider replacing the HSE and some other surveys with a new health and social care survey. We believe that this new survey could make significant improvements."

Asking the right questions

By reviewing surveys and welcoming the input of healthcare professionals and other interested parties, the Information Centre ensures its surveys provide relevant information to help NHS policy makers and staff improve patient care.

This review provides the chance to harness forthcoming developments in patient records in primary and secondary care, and is also likely to reflect the increasing importance of devolved funding and commissioning. It will also be influenced by the need to respond better to the social care agenda and changes to the delivery and policy implementation frameworks.

Take part

Those wishing to take part are invited to complete a questionnaire, which can be completed online or downloaded, and must be submitted before 14 March 2008.

Downloadedquestionnaires should be sent to icsurveysreviewconsultation@ic.nhs.uk or Survey Review Consultation, 2nd Floor, the Information Centre for health and social care, 1 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane, Leeds LS1 6AE.

If you have any queries on the questionnaire or consultation process, or require the related documents in another format, please contact 0845 300 6016 or enquiries@ic.nhs.uk