The Excel-based Star tool will aid resource allocation decision making through the production of ‘value triangle’ graphs. These graphs are only meaningful if a sufficient amount of data has been collected and fed into the Star tool.

Categories of data

As a consequence, each user group should keep the Star tool in mind when collecting data for further analysis. The main categories of data used in the Star tool are:

  • Need: what needs do patients have for the particular healthcare intervention. This should include people living with a condition from the respective health economy, as well as a description of the ‘typical patient’ receiving that intervention.
  • Costs: the cost of providing the intervention for a particular group of patients.
  • Likelihood of successful implementation: this is designed to motivate stakeholders to discuss how likely their organisation is to successfully implement a particular intervention.

Data sources

The Star tool includes several useful links to national data sources for all main priority areas (disease areas and conditions). Wherever possible, this needs to be augmented by the relevant local data. During the Star pilots, several clinical commissioning groups also worked with patient organisations and patient registries to gain a better understanding of the relevant data on patient need.

Stakeholder concerns

During a Star workshop, some stakeholders may feel that the approach will not work because there is insufficient data. It is important for the facilitator to stress that resource allocation decisions are being made based on all of the available data available and that the strength of the Star approach is that the combined experience of the group will effectively bridge the data gaps.

Next steps: Facilitating a Star workshop

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