HealthDataNavigator Learn from best practice examples to identify success factors and to improve data availability

United Kingdom Data Source

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)

 HES is a data warehouse containing details of all admission to NHS hospitals in England. It includes private patients treated in NHS hospitals, patients who were resident outside England and care delivered by treatment centres (including those in the independent sector). It also contains details of all NHS outpatient appointments in England.

Governance
  • NHS Information centre
  • Contact address for enquiries is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Access to Database
  • In English
  • Free tabulated data and reports are available online. Further information on the data and definitions is available here.
  • Access to other information is not immediate. Information has to be requested to the HSCI and takes more than 5 weeks.
  • Information containing sensitive data, episode records, episode records including sensitive data and patient-identifiable records requires governance approval and may take up to 8 weeks.
  • For information on the fee charges click here.
Coverage
  • Admitted patient data is available from 1989/90 onwards. Outpatient data is available from 2003/04 on and Experiment Accident and Emergency data is available from 2007/08 to present.
  • Patient data covering age, gender, ethnic category, geographical information on where the patient was treated and where he lives.
  • Clinical information about diagnoses and operations of inpatient, outpatient and E&A patients.
  • Information about admissions, discharges and referrals.
  • Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) for different hospital episodes.
  • Administrative information such as waiting times and admission dates.
Linkage
  • Linkage not possible with other databases as it corresponds to the main and principal data warehouse on hospital episodes.
Data quality
  • Presentation of data is highly complex and requires knowledge of health care codes and the NHS system.
  • The quality and completeness of the data is investigated at the different stages. This information is published and readily available here.
  • Access is difficult and request of information takes time.
Strength and weaknesses
  • Comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and E&A data.
  • Tailored reports are produced on request.
  • Access to data is not free and may take considerable time.


Health Survey for England (HSE) 

 The Health Survey for England is an annual survey with the objective of measuring health and health related behaviours in adults and children. The information can be divided into core subjects, included every year, and special topics that are only put in selected years. The core subjects are: general health, smoking, drinking and fruit and vegetable consumption, height, weight, blood pressure measurements and blood and saliva samples. The special topics include cardiovascular disease, physical activity, accidents, lung measurement and certain blood analysis.

Governance
  • Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS)
  • Contact address for enquiries is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Access to Database
Coverage
  • The sample considered is the population living in private households in England.
  • Survey data collected since 1991 onwards.
  • From 1991 to 1994 only information on adults aged 16 and over. Since then the sample also includes children.
  • Data is at an individual level and has information on self-reported measures and objective measures of health in diverse areas.
  • Information on core subjects is available every year while the specific subjects are incorporated in selected years.
Linkage
  • Linkage could be possible at aggregate regional level through the postcode.
Data quality
  • Does not require knowledge of the health care systems at it corresponds to household data.
  • The data were processed to the UK Data Archive's 'A*' standard. This is the Archive's highest standard, and means that an extremely rigorous and comprehensive series of checks was carried out to ensure the quality of the data and documentation
Strength and weaknesses
  • Simple and understandable data with complete information and great time coverage,
  • Free access only requiring registration.
  • Time consistently allowing for comparisons over time.
  • Little information on the health care system and performance itself.


The Quality and Outcomes Framework (Database) 

 The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) is a voluntary annual reward and incentive programme for GP surgeries in England which details practice achievement results presenting overall achievement through a point system. The database allows seeing overall achievement for any practice and to breakdown the achievement in a series of clinical measures. This allows comparing local practices.

Governance
  • The NHS Information Centre
  • The contact for any enquiry is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Access to Database
  • In English only
  • Access to the online database is for free. Explanation on the QOF and the results presented can be found in the QOF website.
  • The raw data tables can be accessed online.
Coverage
  • Aggregated data at the practice level for the whole England.
  • Over 8000 GP practices, accounting for over 53 million patients.
  • Data available from 2006 onwards.
Linkage
  • The data is not linkable to any other dataset.
Data quality
  • Data presentation is simple and clear but requires further knowledge of the QOF.
Strength and weaknesses
  • Simple and easy to use and understand.
  • Provides basing information on approximately 50 qualities of care indicators.
  • Free access to data.
  • Only aggregated data by practice.


English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) 

 ELSA is a longitudinal survey of ageing and quality of life among the people aged 50 and over. The survey explores the relationship between health and functioning, social networks, participation and economic position as people approach and move beyond retirement. In particular it looks at aspects such as heath, disability, healthy life expectancy and physical and cognitive health.

Governance
  • Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS)
  • Contact address for enquiries is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Access to Database
  • All information is published in English only.
  • Access to the ELSA database is free but requires registration.
  • Data can be downloaded from the project website.
Coverage
  • Sample covering individuals aged 50 and over.
  • A first experimental wave is available for 1998, 1999 and 2001. There are 4 following waves that cover from 2002 to 2009.
  • Data is available on health status, life expectancy, physical health, cognitive health and many non-health care determinants.
Linkage
  • Linkage could be possible at aggregate level. At an individual level there is no linkage possible.
Data quality
  • Does not require further knowledge of the health care system.
  • Information on the database is available with complementary support from the ESDS.
Strength and weaknesses
  • Comprehensive information on the ageing population.
  • Survey consistency and follow up of the same individuals allowing longitudinal studies.
  • No information is available on other aspects than health status.

CancerSTATS 

 CancerStats database holds the latest cancer statistics in the UK. This database is exemplary in both the quality of information as well as the time period coverage.

Governance
  • Cancer Research Centre UK
  • The contact point for enquiries is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Access to Database
  • Data is available in English.
  • The database can be accessed for free online.
Coverage
  • Cancer diagnosed patients in the UK.
  • Information available from 2002 onwards.
  • Data covers information on incidence, mortality, number of cases, prevalence, estimate of life time risk and 1-year, 5-year and 10-year survival rates.
  • Information is available for diverse types of cancer.
  • Information provided for aspects such as inequalities and ethnicity.
  • Information also covers childhood cancer.
  • Some brief information is available on cancer information worldwide.
Linkage
  • This data cannot be linked.
Data quality
  • Database is simple to use and understand, no further knowledge required of the UK health system.
Strength and weaknesses
  • Unique dataset on cancer providing information on quality of care such as survival statistics.
  • Information is publicly available and has to be downloaded.
  • No other background information than gender and age is available.

 

Performance Data

  Performance database holds basic information on several dimensions of performance. Provides information for several performance domains such as quality and utilization.

 

Governance
Access to Database
  • Information is only available in English.
  • Free access to the data online.
Coverage
  • Information for A&E, Acute and non-acute delayed transfers of care, ambulance quality indicators, Beds statistics, cancelled operations, cancer diagnostics, emergency and critical care activity, basic hospital activity, inpatient and outpatient waiting times and referral waiting times.
  • Different periods of coverage by dataset, however information is available from 1990 onwards.
Linkage
  • No linkage of this data is possible.
Data quality
  • Data requires further understanding of the English Health care system.
Strength and weaknesses
  • Data available on quality of care.
  • Complex internet site that makes it difficult to use.

British Household Panel Survey (BHPS)

 BHPS is a multi-purpose panel survey that has collected information since 1991. It contains information on more than 5500 households from 250 areas of Great Britain. The objective is to further understanding of social and economic change at the individual and household level.

 

Governance
Access to Database
  • Information is only available in English.
  • Access to data requires registration.
Coverage
  • Data is available from 1991 and is separated in 18 waves.
  • Information on over 5500 households from 250 areas of Great Britain.
  • Data is available on health status, life expectancy, physical health, cognitive health and many non-health care determinants as well as health care utilisation.
Linkage
  • No linkage of this data is possible.
Data quality
  • Data requires further understanding of the English Health care system.
Strength and weaknesses
  • Individual panel data on representative samples of the whole population.
  • Free access to data.
  • From wave 19 the BHPS is subsumed into a new longitudinal study called Understanding Society.