There are three aspects to the quality assurance of the data:
consulting with local authority and health board users;
comparing estimates with counts from administrative sources;
reviewing the methodology.
Following consultation with local authority and health board users, some adjustments were made to the small area population estimates for 2005. These adjustments mostly related to areas with a high number of university students, where, because of the transient nature of the population, the migration data (from the community health index) is known to be less reliable. Adjustments were also applied to some data zones in the St. Andrews area, where residents of three educational communal establishments had not been allocated to the correct data zones. These adjustments were only made to the 2005 estimates and no attempt was made to apply them retrospectively to the estimates for the previous years.
We have been carrying out research to compare the Small Area Population Estimates (SAPEs) with a range of administrative datasets. The research compares both the levels of the estimates and the relative changes in these data. The administrative datasets being used in the research include Community Health index based patient data, child benefit data, school census data, and the 'Super Older Persons Database' derived from individual Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) databases for Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Widows Benefit, State Pension, Incapacity Benefit, Winter Fuel and Minimum Income Guarantee, and covers persons aged 65 years and over. The findings from this work will feed into a review of the methodology in 2007.